Finding the "REAL" world of Homer's Odyssey

For students of 8th to 9th grade.

(Used With Permission from 

Lesson Plan Title: Finding the "Real" world of Homer's _Odyssey_

Concept / Topic to Teach: 
Greek/Roman Mythology
Creative Writing
Public Speaking
News story: 5 W's + H

Standards Addressed: 
1. Research
2. Writing
3. Public Speaking
4. Art
5. Technology

General Goal(s): 
To make students aware that most historical events have a basis on real-world events, yet they contain a slant from the story teller's perspective.  Also, some "myths" may be based on real happenings.

Specific Objectives: 
1. Practice research skills.
2. Develop a storyboard to add in sequencing a story.
3. Practice public speaking skills using technology.

Required Materials: 
Mythology reference materials (i.e. encyclopedias, Internet access, copies of _The Odyssey_)
Drawing materials (i.e. crayons, colored pencils, poster board, etc.)
Video Camera & TV

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): 
Students will watch a "LEAD" story for a sensational newscast about a real event in the world (i.e. Bird Flu Pandemic).

Step-By-Step Procedures: 
1. Students will select one monster from _The Odyssey_ that Odysseus encounters on his journey.
2. Students will research the original myth about that monster using available resources.
3. Students will develop a six-square storyboard (in full-color) indicating how the monster came to be in that particular area of the Mediterranean Sea.
4. Students will then develop a news story showcasing Odysseus encountering the monster with specific factual data about the area by answering the 5 W's + H questions.
5. Students will "stage" a newscast in which they report on both the myth and news story about the monster.  
Plan for Independent Practice: 
Students will have five, 90 minute class periods in which to complete all assignments and videotaping.

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): 
Have students write a journal entry from the point of view of the monster telling his/her/its side of the event with Odysseus.

Assessment Based On Objectives: 
A rubric will be developed to assess the following skills:
1. Selection and research of myth (correct placement, information, and sequence in story)
2. Correct data for actual locale (using at least three outside sources with a Works Cited page)
3. Storyboard (six-paneled, color, correct sequence, quality drawings, correct size)
4. Newscast (originality, complete explanation of myth, sensational newscast of the event, correct dress)
5. Public Speaking (no vocal fillers, correct tone, dramatic flair, volume, eye contact w/audience)
Adaptations (For Students with Learning Disabilities):
1. Students may complete the research portion using a bulleted listing of information.
2. Students may have a "teleprompter" of sorts when giving video newscast.
(*Note: Other modifications deemed necessary dependent on exceptionality) 

Extensions (For Gifted Students): 
1. Students may create a comic book based on the myth.
2. Students may create a Power Point demonstration using their storyboards as a pre-writing to organize their ideas.
3. Students may create a DVD of all the stories that can be shared with other classes, since all the 9th grade students read _The Odyssey_.
Possible Connections to Other Subjects: 
1. Journalism
2. Art
3. History  
4. Drama
5. Technology