Greek Mythology: The Odyssey, Day 4

Goals for the Week:

  1. Understand the mythology of the Olympian gods/goddesses.
  2. Understand the plot and characters of Homer’s The Odyssey.
  3. Create a myth for an original Greek god/goddess.

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Watch a video clip from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? showcasing the sirens from Greek mythology and The Odyssey.
  2. Read Book 12 from The Odyssey.
  3. Utilize the OPTIC strategy to analyze two different artworks that represent the sirens from The Odyssey.

Today’s Lesson!

* The Odyssey is a very large epic poem. Because of time constraints, we will be reading a couple of books from The Wanderings (journey) of Odysseus, as opposed to the entire text.


  • ELAGSE9-10RL6: Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
  • ELAGSE9-10RL7: Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums (e.g., Auden’s poem “Musée de Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus), including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.

Learning Target: 

I can read and analyze Book 12 of The Odyssey, so that I can comprehend the nature of the sirens. I can consider various interpretations of the sirens from Greek mythology so that I can analyze their prevalence in literature, history, and film.


Odysseus encounters the sirens in Book 12 of The Odyssey. According to Greek mythology, sirens were female creatures (often sea nymphs) that lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of their song. Check out this modern interpretation in a video clip from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (The film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is loosely based on Homer’s The Odyssey). Disclaimer: The clip is slightly suggestive, but you won’t see anything inappropriate.

Work Session: 

* Book 12 focuses on Odysseus’s interactions with the sirens and two different sea monsters, Scylla and Charybdis. *

  • Read Book 12 of The OdysseyHolt Literature Textbook, The Odyssey, Book 12
  • Take a look at these two paintings! Use the OPTIC chart below the paintings to analyze what’s going on here. (Click the pictures to see them bigger.)
Ulysses and the Sirens by John William Waterhouse (1891) Ulysses and the Sirens by Herbert James Draper (1909)
  • Fill in this chart (recreate it on your own paper) with your observations on each painting:
Overview: What do you see in this picture? What is your overall impression?
Parts: What different parts of the picture do you see? Consider characters, foreground, background, frame, etc.
Title: What is the title of this painting? How does the title relate to what is going on in the painting?
Interrelationships: How do the parts and title relate to the overall picture? Why are some things in the background? Why is there an owl flying around?
Conclusions: What conclusions can you draw from this painting?

Closing Session: 

  • Check out these videos over Scylla and Charybdis.
    • Scylla:

    • Charybdis:

  • Continue to work on your original Greek myth. The assignment is due tomorrow, Friday, May 15th by 11:59 pm. Submit to your teacher via email or however he/she wants you to turn your assignments in. Message your teacher if you have questions. Original Greek Myth
  • Greek Mythology Chart

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Checklist

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1. There are no new lessons for tomorrow. Just remember to submit your original Greek myth by 11:59 pm on Friday, May 15th.
  2. Next week, we’ll wrap up our Greek mythology unit!


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