Directions: Use main idea chunks (main idea, textual evidence, analysis) to answer the questions below in preparation for our Socratic seminar on The Odyssey. Before answering these questions, listen to the song “Home” by Chris Daughtery at bit.ly/HomeSong.
Rules for Participating in a Socratic Seminar:
- The class sits in a circle allowing all participants to make eye contact.
- One student speaks at a time.
- Do not raise your hand during the discussion.
- Do not interrupt another person. Begin speaking when he or she has finished.
- Be respectful of all participants’ opinions.
- Disagreement is fine as long as you do so in a respectful manner.
- Do not direct your comments to the teacher– direct to everyone.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions!
- Remember, there is more than one “RIGHT ANSWER.”
Opening: (Identify main ideas and start with round-robin response (everyone must answer this question – teacher picks one to begin the discussion.)
- What do you think was Odysseus’ worst or best action of his wanderings and why?
- How long should have Penelope waited for Odysseus? Why do you think she stayed true waiting for him for 20 years?
Core: Focus/analyze on textual details.
- In many cultures, epic myths like The Odyssey were used as educational tools to instruct young men in the ideals and values of a culture; thereby passing the ideals & values to a new generation. What values might Odysseus have represented? Does Telemachus posses the same ones?
- Undeniably, Odysseus is one of the first great heroes in Western Civilization, perhaps even defining a certain type of heroism. He goes on an amazing journey, accomplishes extraordinary things, and transforms himself. But today, we use the word hero to describe mothers doing ordinary things and athletes doing trivial things. What’s the discrepancy between these two meanings of the word, hero? Do they share anything in common?
- The Odyssey is about a family. Home matters in the poem not simply because Odysseus wants to get there, but also because it gives life its meaning. Without one’s home, human life is not conceivable. Discuss the importance of family and home in the story.
- Odysseus maintains a vision, a goal, of getting home to his family. How can a goal focus and motivate our lives?
- The song’s lyrics state, “Back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me…” Has Penelope’s love truly been enough motivation for Odysseus?
Closing: (Personalize/apply the text – Round robin response question)
- Why are deep, meaningful bonds (like family connections) necessary in life?