The Iliad Resources

Here are some things I've used in the classroom for when I've taught The Iliad.

Note: Our textbook only has selections from the epic. Specifically "Achilles' Rage" and "The Death of Hector" so if you're looking for another part, some of this may not be helpful.

  • Background Notes
    • I really like Prezi if you haven't noticed because it allows the students to revisit the information later. I also like to do guided notes with my students as well since I teach underclassmen who have almost no clue how to take notes. Anyway, you can find the link to the Prezi for the background here.
  • Newspaper Release
    • This is a fun activity that I have done with multiple units and it works pretty well every time. It forces students to have to actually understand what is happening in the story and it makes them write. However, since they aren't writing a boring thesis essay, they don't mind it as much. Since they are allowed to be creative, it is becomes enjoyable to grade.
  • Epic Hero Background Notes
    • Since this is usually the first thing we do with epic heroes, I also give them notes, again using Prezi, about epics and epic heroes. Find the link to the Prezi here.
  • Epic Simile Drawing
    • Again, I don't have an actual document for this one but it is very easy to do. This really helps students visualize/understand epic similes and the detail that goes into them. There are two ways that I've done this assignment. 
    • #1: Select one or two epic similes and have students fold their paper in half. One one side, they draw what the epic simile is describing (i.e. if it is the simile where Achilles chases Hector like a hawk going after its prey, have them draw a hawk going after its prey). On the other side of the paper, have students draw what is actually happening in the story. If you're using the same example from above, they would draw Hector being chased by Achilles around the walls of Troy. On the back, have students explain why Homer would use that simile to represent what was happening. 
    • #2: If you read The Odyssey as well, you can do this same assignment but instead of doing both the figurative and literal of one epic simile, you'll have students do it with two. It is easier if you pick two epic similes that contain the same objects being compared. For example, I have students use the epic simile I described above from The Iliad (which can be found in "The Death of Hector") and the epic simile from the The Odyssey where Odysseus and Telemachus see each for the first time upon Odysseus' return. They both use hawks in their comparisons. On the back of the paper, students explain how the similes are similar and how they are different.
As always, if you want to look at the other resources I have, you can find them here.

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