Poetry and The Odyssey

Lea Ehret

Lesson Introduction

As they read the Odyssey, students will explore the perspectives of its characters--and particularly its women-- through poetry. In the end, they will work with a partner to write a poem that is a dialogue between two characters. What might Penelope want to say to Circe, for example? Partners will perform their dialogue poems, each assuming the voice of a character.

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Extend their understanding of the Odyssey through reading poetry.
  • Consider multiple points of view within a story, thinking critically about character motivations, desires, and points of tension, as well as the interplay among these factors.
  • Conduct an inquiry, making connections among historical factors and contemporary artefacts that shed light on the Odyssey’s characters.
  • Empathize with selected characters by writing from the character’s point of view.
  • Collaborate with peers in dialogic writing, hopefully working to productively complicate each other’s understanding of characters.
  • Embody characters in performances.

Materials and Resources

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • poetry packet handout (attached), 1 per student

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