Poetry and The Odyssey

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Lesson Introduction: 

As they read the Odyssey, students will explore the perspectives of its characters--and particularly its women-- through poetry. In the end, they will work with a partner to write a poem that is a dialogue between two characters. What might Penelope want to say to Circe, for example? Partners will perform their dialogue poems, each assuming the voice of a character.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Extend their understanding of the Odyssey through reading poetry.
  • Consider multiple points of view within a story, thinking critically about character motivations, desires, and points of tension, as well as the interplay among these factors.
  • Conduct an inquiry, making connections among historical factors and contemporary artefacts that shed light on the Odyssey’s characters.
  • Empathize with selected characters by writing from the character’s point of view.
  • Collaborate with peers in dialogic writing, hopefully working to productively complicate each other’s understanding of characters.
  • Embody characters in performances.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • poetry packet handout (attached), 1 per student


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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.