Greek Mythology: The Trojan War, the Iliad, and the Odyssey
The story of Odysseus' return home after the Trojan War is probably the most commonly taught of all Greek myths. It is an excellent story that still resonates with modern readers centuries after its creation. Below are some materials I use to teach the events of the Trojan War and the Odyssey in my own classroom.
THE CAST OF THE TROJAN WAR Use this presentation to give an overview of the main characters of the Iliad and the Trojan War
TROJAN WAR CLASSROOM GAME Divide your classroom into Greeks and Trojans and allow them to act out the greatest war of all time. This game is included as part of the text Reaching Olympus: The Volume of the Trojan War.REACHING OLYMPUS: THE SAGA OF THE TROJAN WAR INCLUDING THE ILIAD AND THE ODYSSEY This collection of 11 script-stories brings the events of the Trojan War and Odyssey alive for your students. Allow them to experience the fiery rage of Achilles and the ingenuity of Odyssey firsthand. Several supplemental stories flesh out the events of the war. A Find-It Puzzle and classroom game are also included!
"ESCAPE FROM CALYPSO'S ISLE" (SCRIPT-STORY) This 5-page script-story dramatizes Odysseus's captivity by the sea nymph Calypso and her subsequent unwillingness to release him. Excerpted from Reaching Olympus: The Saga of the Trojan War.
THE LOTUS-EATERS AND THE SIRENS This video illustrates two famous excerpts from the Odyssey using classical art and other images. Narration provided by Sir Ian McKellen (a.k.a. Gandalf). Caution: The video contains classical depictions of the human body.
READING PASSAGE: THE LOTUS-EATERS AND THE SIRENS This worksheet uses the same excerpts as the video above and follows them up with relevant discussion questions. Excerpted from Reaching Olympus: The Saga of the Trojan War.
READING PASSAGE: SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS This worksheet re-tells Odysseus's misadventure choosing between Scylla, the many-headed monster, and Charybdis, the ship-eating whirlpool. It follows the episode with relevant discussion questions. Excerpted from Reaching Olympus: The Saga of the Trojan War.
READING PASSAGE: ODYSSEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD This worksheet re-tells Odysseus's adventure in the Underworld, conversing with departed family members and war comrades. It follows the episode with relevant discussion questions.
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU COMPARISON WORKSHEET (PDF) Viewing O Brother, Where Art Thou? after reading the Odyssey is a fun way to spot the many intentional connections between the epic poem and the film. Caution: The film is rated PG-13 for profanity, so preview the film yourself before showing it to students.
MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAM + READING PASSAGE OVER THE EVENT OF THE TROJAN WAR Test your students' knowledge of the events of the Trojan War with this objective exam. The ACT-style reading passage incorporates a section of the epic poem itself.
ODYSSEY ARTWORK ALLUSIONS This 40-page presentation is an artwork guessing game for students: Can they guess what event or character from the Odyssey appears in each piece of artwork? For instructions and answer key, click here. This link also includes instructions for making a digital copy of the presentation using Google Drive.
THE ODYSSEY ESCAPE ROOM PUZZLE CHALLENGE In this activity your students complete 14 different puzzles covering the events of the Odyssey. There are a variety of puzzles: Word Scrambles, fill-in-the-blank, and picture puzzles. This activity makes for a great review of the Odyssey! Click here to find out more!