The Odyssey - Extra Credit

Post-Reading Extension Activities and Alternative Assessments

Students may choose up to 2 projects for a total of 40 extra credit points (up to 20 points each). Students will have to present 1 of the projects to the class. Students MUST show effort and detail in their projects or points will be deducted.

Due Date: Friday, May 27th. (Presentations the week of 5/30)


Create a travel brochure that details Odysseus’s journey. Include his visits to the Phaeacians, Circe, Polyphemus, and Calypso. Also include his adventures with Scylla and Charybdis. To make your brochure, fold an 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper into thirds to make a total of six sections. Section one is the cover page, where you may also include the name of your travel company; section two should give an overview of the tour, including its places of interest; sections three and four will display the itinerary—listed by days—of the tour, and describe the stops, the overnight accommodations, and the food; section five should list your peak and non-peak prices, taxes, food, and lodging; and section six should be the back page of your brochure that contains the name, address, phone number, and web address of your company along with a professional looking

design, integrating pictures throughout.

Research the Great Seal of the State of California. Explain who the goddess is and how she can be identified by her symbols. Having read the Odyssey, describe why you think California chose this goddess for its seal. As a challenge, find the California city that is the only U.S. location that uses the state‟s seal as its own seal. Now, pretend that you have been put in charge of designing a state seal with an Odyssey theme. Use your knowledge of the characters, plot, and symbols from the epic to carefully craft a new seal, and—as any good seal maker does—load it with symbolism.

Like Odysseus and his fellow Greeks, sometimes soldiers experience painful transitions when they return home from war. Research some of the difficulties faced by U.S. soldiers returning from wars, such as WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the Iraq War. Compare and contrast these problems with those Odysseus faced on his journey home. Create a multimedia presentation that documents the problems veterans of war may face and how they cope with such problems. If you are fortunate enough to know one, conduct a live interview an actual veteran of war.


Research the dances of ancient Greece, and perform one in class or captured on video. Be sure to have appropriate period music from authentic Greek instruments (do a google search), such as the lyre, kithara, avlos, syrigs, sistron, or tympani, or use pieces of wood, metallic cymbals, bells, or shell instruments to keep the rhythm of the dance. Also, include some background information on how ancient Greeks regarded dance as well as the types of dances they participated in.

History-Social Science

Make a table tracing the evolution of our modern alphabet—Egyptian to proto-Sinaitic to Phoenician to Greek to Etruscan to Roman to Modern—and draw the representative characters, or letters, for each language.

Draw a detailed map that shows where Odysseus traveled. Make sure the map is colored and is labeled properly, and has a compass rose and a legend.


Calculate the number of miles Odysseus traveled during his 20-year journey homeward. Include the geographic details of where he traveled. For example, the first leg of his journey was from Ithaca to Troy, and that took how many miles? Then, document the next part of his trip and the distance traveled. Keep noting the details of his trip until he finally returns to Ithaca, and calculate the total number of miles he traveled.

Research the “heroes” of mathematics and geometry (e.g., Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Archimedes) of ancient Greece, and describe their lives, what they studied and discovered, and how their contributions are still applied in today’s world.


Present various incarnations of the Odyssey in music. There are many, but some examples include Maia McCormick‟s “An Odyssey of Homecoming;” the Grieco Brothers‟ “Odissea, the Musical in Second Life;” Symphony X paying tribute to the poem with “The Odyssey;” Cream‟s “Tales of Brave Ulysses;” and “Calypso,” by Suzanne Vega. Be sure to explain how each piece relates to the Odyssey.

Research the musical instruments of ancient Greece and create a multi-media presentation to demonstrate what you learned. Include pictures and sounds of each instrument.


Research some of the constellations (there are 88 to choose from), and relate the Greek myths behind the constellations. Then, create a display that includes a summary of each constellation‟s myth and shows each constellation‟s shape, name, and location in the sky.


Prepare and present an original speech that a particular character might have given. Be ready to be in full costume and character for your presentation.

Visual Arts

Make a scale model of the raft Odysseus built in Book 5 to get away from Calypso’s island, of Odysseus‟s and Penelope’s bed, or of Odysseus’s bow.

Recreate the shroud Penelope was weaving in Book 2 for the eventual burial of Laertes. Sift through the scant details about the shroud from the poem, then use your creativity to fill in the missing information and complete the shroud.

Make a mask of three to five characters from the Odyssey. Make them look like the

characters as described in the epic.