The Odyssey - Writing Test
This test has worked well as a variation from the standard tests that students are familiar with. They seem to enjoy the change. It engages their right brains as well as their left, and the tests are more enjoyable to read because of the ingenuity that many students use. The tests also can bring new insights to the instructor as one realizes, 'oh yes, perhaps that is how Athena viewed that situation,' or 'perhaps that is one of Antinoos' feelings or motivations.'
This test technique, of course, can be used with other books and other types of literature.
Write a journal entry from the viewpoint of one of the following characters:
Eurykleia [the 'nurse']
Antinoos [a suitor]
Describe in detail the events that happen in the first two chapters of The Odyssey, up to the last lines of chapter two, "And the prow sheared through the night into the dawn," from this person's perspective and limited to the events that that character would know.
You should spend some time visualizing the situation BEFORE you begin to write. You can use any of your notes, and you should put as many details as you can, that apply to your character, into the journal entry.
Write on one side of the sheet, in ink, and skip lines.
Proofread your paper before you turn it in, and then read and remain quiet until everyone else is finished.
Return to the: Teaching Literature page