September 1, 2, 3

WEEK THREE: Days Two, Three, Four

Unit Theme:

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cultural and historical impact on literary texts.

Unit Essential Question:

Why do cultures construct narratives about their experiences?

Unit Skills or Concepts:

Students will identify and discuss central concepts in The Odyssey, including the elements of epic style, the epic hero, the epic hero cycle, homecoming, xenia (the guest/host relationship), mistakes and consequences, rhetoric, courage, reverence of gods and devotion.

Students will demonstrate ability to understand and analyze significant details of plot development.

Students will demonstrate understanding of the climax in plot structure.

Students will analyze characters in the epic - their words, actions, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses.

Students will identify and explain foreshadowing, simile, and epithet.

Today's Skills or Concepts

The student will be able to identify elements of epic style:

a. The author begins by stating the theme and uses someone who is all-knowing and wise to help him in his undertaking.

b. The story begins in the middle of the action, in media res, and at a critical point; the events that happened before the narrative's opening are introduced later.

c. The setting is vast in scope, sometimes worldwide and even beyond.

d. The hero is a figure of great national or international importance.

e. The action of the epic involves heroic deeds in battle, such as a long hard journey or a war.

f. Use of the supernatural: The gods or other supernatural beings take an interest and an active part in the great deeds performed in the epic.

g. Often the point of view is in third person (standing outside looking in through the window) with little comment or opinion. Usually the author is objective (looks at both sides of an issue) in his presentation of the situation and characters.

Mini-Lesson Outline:

A. The teacher will review "Guidelines for Reading an Epic," page 595 in the text, and then have students review orally the elements of epic style.

B. Each student will read pages 592 to 594, 295 to 296 ("Guidelines for Reading an Epic") in the text, and then make flash cards identifying the following terms, people and places.

[Students make cut-and-glue items using the "People and Places in The Odyssey" handout. Everyone will be able to place these cards on desks for easy identification reference and pronunciation.]

  • epic
  • Iliad and Odyssey
  • Homer
  • Trojan War
  • rhapsodes
  • Odyssey's three major pl0t strands
  • epithet
  • epic simile
  • Achaeans
  • Aeaea
  • Agamemnon
  • Alcinous
  • Antinous
  • Apollo
  • Argo
  • Athena
  • Calypso
  • Charybdis
  • Cicones
  • Circe
  • Cronus
  • Cyclops
  • Eumaeus
  • Eurycleia
  • Eurylochus
  • Eurymachus
  • Eurynome
  • Helios
  • Ithaca
  • Laertes
  • Laestrygoians
  • Odysseus
  • Penelope
  • Phaeacia
  • Polyphemus
  • Poseidon
  • Scylla
  • Sirens
  • Telemachus
  • Zeus

C. The teacher will introduce the students' Odyssey Project Guidelines, and provide materials for given assignments. The teacher will provide examples of previous interpretations of assignments.

D. For homework, students will complete any unfinished work.