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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.

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.)

  1. What do you think was Odysseus’ worst or best action of his wanderings and why?
  2. 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.

  1. 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?
  2. What outstanding personal, even heroic, qualities enable Odysseus to survive all of his dangerous adventures and to rise above all obstacles to return home safely?
  3. Has the definition of “family” changed in our society?
  4. The song says, “I don’t regret this life I chose for me.” Did Odysseus choose his life and his journey?
  5. Also stated in the song is, “And the pain you feel’s a different kind of pain.” Do you believe Odysseus felt any pain during his journey? How could his pain be like the pain you feel when you struggle with a situation?

Closing: (Personalize/apply the text – Round robin response question)

  1. Why are deep, meaningful bonds (like family connections) necessary in life?