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Updated: Jun 17, 2020

“Thence we sailed on...and came to the isle of Aeaea, where dwelt fair-tressed Circe, a dread goddess of human speech..." - Book 10 of The Odyssey, Homer

HOMER'S THE ODYSSEY (Book 10 with a little bit of teaching about ALLITERATION again!)

FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 10.15AM, THEN UPLOADED TO WEBSITE! Or, click here to listen now! BACKGROUND-BITE: The 'Illiad' and 'Odyssey' stories are a whopping three thousand years old and are STILL two of the most widely read stories of all time! But, bizarrely - very similar to Shakespeare - next to nothing is known about their author. Homer was apparently blind, he probably lived around 8BC and he was definitely an accomplished poet, The thing is, several centuries later, scholars questioned whether there was ever an actual Homer and today people believe that even if a single person wrote the two epic poems, a lot of the content probably came from oral stories that had long been told before... The stories are set when gods still frequented the earth and heroic, godlike mortals with superhuman strengths lived in Greece. The Iliad tells the story of how the Greeks rescued Queen Helen, who had been stolen by the Trojans. The Odyssey starts with the fall of Troy and then follows one of the Greek warriors, the hero Odysseus, in his struggle to get home. It's a tale of wandering - finding fantastic islands and foreign lands. It's on the enchanted island of Aeaea that he meets Circe the witch! ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):

1. Listen to Storynory's tale about Circe the witch - 2. Find out how much you know about Ancient Greece - 3. Read some more Greek myths - 4. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how dramatic you can make your own re-working of our tale! 5. Try writing the story from the Circe's perspective - here's a funny little video to help remind you how to organise your story - 6. Using story stones/dice (see my blog post about outdoor activities for kids), devise your own adventure for the white dragon now it's escaped! 7. Educational resources for writing - 8. Draw and craft your own mythical monster -

9. Learn a bit more about the Greek Gods - which one is your favourite? ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):

1. Watch this crash course on the Odyssey - 2. Watch this short video about the Odyssey - and try the 'think' questions! 3. Find out how much you know about Ancient Greece - 4. Create an comic strip or animation of the story - ,, 5. Sharpen your skills before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out

6. Write your own version of what happened from Circe's perspective. This might help remind you about how to structure your story -

7. Learn about Greek gods and goddesses - 8. Design your own mythical monster - or god/goddess - FOR GROWNUPS: “It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea-lions, lions, human beings and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits.” Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (STORY-ORIENTATED ESCAPISM):

1. Listen to Melvyn Bragg's discussion of Homer’s Odyssey - the epic story of the Greek hero Odysseus’ journey back from Troy, and its foundational position in the history of western literature and ideas at 2. Read Stephen Fry's brilliant book 'Mythos' - 3. Read Madeline Millers' incredible book 'Circe' for her feisty feminist take on the arrival of Odysseus! - 4. Check out the Guardian's review of Miller's book - 5. Watch Simon Armitage's BBC documentary 'Of God and Monsters' following in the footsteps of the Odyssey -

6. Read, if you're feeling ambitious - Simon Armitage's own translation of the Odyssey -, or listen to the audio instead -

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