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

Students use powerpoint and do a quick research of an assigned god/dess.

Gods and Goddesses Mini Project

Gods and Goddesses mini project key

Mythology 12 Gods


Day Two – Odyssey Introduction Presentation with Guided Notes:

Odyssey Introduction PowerPoint updated

Odyssey Introduction PowerPoint Notes


Anticipation Guide for The Odyssey:

Odyssey Anticipation Guide

Literature Circles Plan for The Odyssey:

Literature Circles- The Odyssey Story Time


Day Three – Class discussion to present the concept of the archetypal hero:

Website on literary archetypes


heroes discussion– finish on blog

heroes discussion

Early Group Assignments for The Odyssey:


Day Four – Odysseus as Epic Hero

Characteristics of Epic Heroes

Odysseus as Epic Hero

Odysseus as an Epic Hero.2003

Character chart to help students identify character traits for Odysseus

(I used this with “I am Laertes Son” and “Lotus Eaters”)’


Day Five – Students complete an Irony Webquest

Irony Webquest


Day Six – Irony and characterization (Tragic Hero flaw)  Read: “Cyclops” (10 pp)


Day Seven – Reading questions for “Cyclops” excerpt: Cyclops worksheet

Cyclops worksheet

Day Eight – Brief discussion of Symbolism before reading “Circe, Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis”: symbolism in the odyssey

symbolism in the odyssey

Day Nine – Finish Monsters and symbolism.

Online Interactive Map of The Odyssey


Day Ten – Theme – finding theme in The Odyssey



Day Eleven –  Socratic Seminar

the odyssey paideia seminar1


Day Twelve – Odyssey Tiered Writing Assignment

Odyssey Tiered Writing Assignment

Day Thirteen – Finish Writing Assignment


Day Fourteen – Odyssey Review



Day 15 – Odyssey Test Unit Test




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










13 Replies to “Odyssey Unit”

  1. 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. 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 ??

    1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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. 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!

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