If you don't know where to start with The Odyssey, this is the site for you! It gives a time sequence, connection to content standards, activities and proven teaching methods, assessments and data analysis. It includes journal entries to jump start the class, anticipatory guides, video title supplements, a Mythology IQ test, and What Would You Do? handouts. I have used IQ tests and What Would You Do handouts before, and students love them!
This is a cool site to show kids because it represents how advertisers use classic literature to promote their products. According to the Sperry site, odyssey.sperry.com, “To celebrate an 80-year passion for exploration, Sperry is inviting some adventurous souls to embark on an odyssey." After watching, I suggest that my students create their own goal, or odyssey for the week, month or year. What would present challenges for them and teach them about courage and leadership?
There are a number of great articles about the Odyssey on this site ranging from science to travel. The more students see the proliferation of Odyssey themes and conflicts in everyday life, the better they recognize human's universal experiences throughout time. I especially liked the article, "All-Nighter With the 'Odyssey' " because it showed that with enthusiasm and innovation, teachers have the ability to motivate students to learn in unusual ways.
I have had students use this site as an example for a project on the Odyssey in which I ask them for modern adaptations of the epic poem. However, to avoid plagiarism, I require that my students find examples from the previous year in media - this could include blogs, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, movies, television shows, music, etc.
Produced by the same company that created resource #1, this is a superb collection of sites for modern connections to the epic poem. I like to divide my students into groups and have them present on one or two of the sources on the page as an enrichment activity. Then they share their findings with the class.
With this resource, you will not need to create one question about the Odyssey. It includes prereading prompts, essay topics, discussion questions, and activities. Choose the ones that work best for your students.
I loved reading these teachers' ideas for teaching The Odyssey! I used biopoems with my 9th graders and they loved writing them. I also had my students create board games and commercials (suggested on this site). This site addresses HOW to teach The Odyssey...through motivation and engagement. Students will enjoy using their creativity to further understand and appreciate the epic poem.
I use this video every year as an introduction to the Odyssey. The writers, professors and actors read lines from the poem and their passion jumps off the screen. It is so memorable that my students talk about their uncanny love for the poem as we read the play.