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Odyssey Unit

Here you will find a unit plan for the Odyssey.  The links lead you to the handouts used for the particular lesson.  This unit focuses on characterization, characteristics of an epic hero, irony, and symbolism.

Day One: 

One day intro to the Greek Olympic God/desses:

Mythology Presentation EDIT
Day Two-Four:

Introduce Greek Mythology Webquest and complete over three days

Mythology Webquest
Day Five:

Hero discussion to present the concept of the archetypal hero

heroes discussion


Characteristics of Epic Heroes

Day Six-Seven:

The Odyssey Introduction Presentation with Guided Notes

Complete anticipation guide

Give out The Odyssey Packet


Odyssey Anticipation Guide



Day Eight:

Define and analyze the Epic Hero

Review characterization – direct and indirect

Odysseus as an Epic Hero.2003

Characteristics of Epic Heroes


Day Nine:

Read “I am Laertes Son” and “Lotus Eaters”

Complete characterization chart

Day 10:

Complete Irony Webquest

Irony Webquest
Day 11-12:

Read: “Cyclops” (10 pp) and focus on Irony and characterization (Tragic Hero flaw)  

Complete Polyphemus handout

Answer Cyclops questions


Cyclops worksheet

Day 13-14:

Brief discussion of Symbolism 

Read “Circe, Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis” focus on symbolism 

Create your own monster

symbolism in the odyssey

Create your own mythological monster

Day 15:

Finish Part 2 of The Odyssey

Day 16:

Explore theme in The Odyssey

Prep for socratic seminar

Day 17:

Students will participate in a Socratic Seminar on The Odyssey

the odyssey paideia seminar1
Day 18-19:

Students will complete tiered writing assignment

Odyssey Tiered Writing Assignment
Day 20:

Students will complete exam review

Day 21:

Students will take test on The Odyssey

Other Resources:

Summarized animated youtube of The Odyssey 

Easier version

Choose your own Odyssey

Review Game



Other Handouts/Activities:



Practice identifying characterization: Characterization Activity

The Lotus Eaters.Tennyson’s Poem

Literary Technique Questions



  1. Rich LaFontaine

    Mrs. Livaudais,
    I hope you don’t mind that I am using your structure and ideas for my graduate work. I will be citing you as a source so that I am not claiming credit for your hard work.
    My compliments,

  2. T Schneider

    Hi. I am planning an Odyssey unit for the first time. My kids all bought the book, the Robert Fitzgerald translation……I love the day by day plan and the activities…..but I am trying to see a reading schedule. Did you have them read the whole thing or just some books ?? I can’t tell from you plan what was read when ??

    • Tracy Schneider

      Thank you so much. I am going to work from a LIT book next year and I think it has excerpts too. If I could suggest anything to add to the lesson plan above, I would suggest adding in the reading schedule by day also.

      For example, even if you say, “Read excerpt from Book 1 in LIT book” and/or “Read excerpt from Book 9 in LIT book”.

      It would just help the flow of activities with the readings.

      But, it is very valuable the way it is and I love it. I just wanted to pass on a suggestion.

  3. Sharon Peek

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I was wondering what movie you use to teach the Odyssey and if it is easy to obtain? Your site has been very helpful.

  4. Chris Ramirez

    Mrs. Livaudais,

    I am a first year teacher and I personally have never read The Odyssey. Thank you for providing a great launching pad for planning! I felt a bit lost, but am using your structure (with modifications) for my unit plan my first quarter. Thank you so much!


  5. Kellie Lockwood

    I am so grateful to you for the resources you shared here. Last year was my first year for teaching the Odyssey, and it was a very bland, dry experience for me and my students. Your unit will definitely make it more engaging. Thank you!

  6. A. Cordova

    Hello. I am a new English 9 Honors teacher, and I’m very grateful to have found the resources you’ve provided!

    I just have a question, however, regarding the 12 Olympian Gods listed on your PPT. Why isn’t Hades and Hestia listed/described, but Demeter and Dionysis were?

    Thank you for your time!

    • admin

      You make a very good point. Hades definitely should be on the list of the 12 main gods. Hestia and Demeter were Tritons and siblings to Zeus, but not often considered part of the 12 main Olympian Gods – they are included in the bigger lists.

  7. Cammie

    This is a great site…thank you for creating it! I plan to use several of your resources. I have one question…what film version did you use? In my brief search, I haven’t found an updated version. Thanks in advance!

  8. Casey Quiel

    Mrs. Livaudais,
    I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate your website and find it super helpful to me during student teaching! Thank you for being a wonderful teacher, and for creating this website!

  9. Lisa

    What a wonderful resource! Thank you for sharing all of this information with others. This was one of my favorite books as a middle school student and I can’t wait to read it with my group I plan on using a narrative and will use many of the wonderful resources you provided. Thank you again!

  10. Rachel


    I am soon to start teaching this for the first time, but I cannot find a version of the story that is student-friendly, accessible, and abbreviated. Which version would you recommend?

    • Mrs. Livaudais

      I have used portions from the text, but depending on the level of your students and their language proficiency, there is a link at the bottom of the page under resources that goes to an easy electronic copy. You can also google for pdfs of different sections that may be easier.

  11. David Morreale

    Mrs. Livaudis,

    Many many thanks for your website! It has been a wonderful resource, and I have adapted many of the teaching strategies and ideas into my history curriculum also!

    Thank you again,

  12. Elaine

    THANK YOU!!! Between Covid and two hurricanes, my English I binder has gone missing and I’ve lost all of my previous lessons for the Odyssey (as well as Romeo and Juliet and Fahrenheit 451–my R&J lessons were original to my first year teaching in 1996).

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