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Edit Project: The Odyssey Mosaic Retelling

SUMMARY

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Author(s): Justin Wells

School: Marin School of Arts and Technology

Brief Summary: For 3000 years, artists have been inspired by Homer's Odyssey and retold its hero journey in countless ways. Now it's our students' turn, as artists with their own individual talents, to continue the tradition of retelling The Odyssey.

The culminating project of the reading of Homer's Odyssey will be the Mosaic Retelling Project. Each class will split up the important plot events of the entire Odyssey, analyze their parts closely, and then create pieces of art that retell these parts of The Odyssey in whatever way the students are inspired.

In the end, the class will assemble all its artistic retellings into a mosaic for an evening presentation of The Odyssey to the school community.

How the students retell their section of The Odyssey is entirely up to them; any art form is acceptable: drama, music, poetry, painting, sculpture, animation, comics, puppetry, film, radio, dance, the list goes on. Student imagination sets the limits of what is possible.

Driving Question: How are you an epic storyteller?

DETAILS

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Keywords: Odyssey, oral storytelling, Homer, Greeks, ancient literature, hero journey

Subject Areas: Language Arts, Visual and Performing Arts

Teaching Days to Complete: 8+ weeks

Select 21st Century Leadership Skills:

Collaborate Productively

  • Students employ their personal strengths and skills for the benefit of the group.
  • Students encourage and support the success of groups and accept responsibility for their results.
  • Students participate and work well in diverse groups.

Communicate Effectively and Persuasively

  • Students communicate in an organized and precise manner.
  • Students produce work that is accurate and conveys well-developed ideas to the target audience.

Express Creatively

  • Students apply artistic processes and skills to communicate their meaning and intent.
  • Students communicate ideas and concepts with varied forms of media, appropriate for the audience.
  • Students develop and express points of view, concepts and ideas in varied ways.

Manage Projects Effectively

  • Students establish goals and develop strategies to meet them.
  • Students evaluate the effectiveness of their approach.
  • Students understand and apply project-planning skills.

Think Critically

  • Students deconstruct and draw connections across varied concepts, texts and arguments.
  • Students support their conclusions and perspectives with relevant evidence.
  • Students synthesize information into new understandings.

Select Graduation Portfolio Tasks:

Creative Expression

  • Technique: Demonstrates a command of the craft of the artistic discipline: creates a piece that reflects substantial craftsmanship,
  • Technique: Demonstrates a command of the craft of the artistic discipline: employs specific techniques and methods to produce intended results, and
  • Process: Envisions, explores and persists with an aesthetic idea: demonstrates focus and perseverance during the creative process, and
  • Process: Envisions, explores and persists with an aesthetic idea: incorporates feedback, reflection and research into the creative process.
  • Process: Envisions, explores and persists with an aesthetic idea: sets goals and trajectory of the process of creating the work of art,
  • Point of View: Creates a work of art with personal meaning and intent: communicates point of view to audience or viewer through the work of art, itself, and the artist statement.
  • Point of View: Creates a work of art with personal meaning and intent: creates a work of art that communicates a personal message, viewpoint or idea, and
  • Context and Connections: Draws connections between the work of art and artistic, historical, contemporary and cultural traditions: demonstrates how relevant events, ideas, and experiences from historical and contemporary times inform the work of art,
  • Context and Connections: Draws connections between the work of art and artistic, historical, contemporary and cultural traditions: demonstrates knowledge of major aesthetic questions/issues (e.g. role of the body, abstraction, audience/creator relationship) and their relation to the work of art, and
  • Reflection: Questions, discusses and evaluates one’s own work: describes and analyzes the process of making the work of art as well as the work of art itself,
  • Reflection: Questions, discusses and evaluates one’s own work: evaluates the work of art using emotional response, cultural information, art practice conventions and arts standards.
  • Reflection: Questions, discusses and evaluates one’s own work: uses reflection in the process of making the work of art, and

Grade Level: 9th, 10th

Outcomes:

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INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES

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MEDIA GALLERY

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Featured Media

An Interview with Justin Wells (19.3M)
In this interview, Justin discusses how this project encourages students to find relevance through completing a project that asks for their artistic contribution to the tradition of interpreting and retelling the text. He discusses the sense of accomplishment students feel as they make meaningful connections to their own lives and understandings.

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All Other Media

Scylla and Charybdis: a retelling
An exemplary project by Anthony Antonaros ('07), using animation art to re-tell this portion of The Odyssey. (Note: click on the image screen to play animation)

 

Student Artwork Sampler
Brief slideshow highlighting students' artistic interpretations of events from The Odyssey.

 

The Last Temptation of Odysseus
Song written by Justin Wells as an example of art inspired by Homer's Odyssey.