I use this as an end of unit writing assignment for the Odyssey. During the unit we have student the Hero's Journey and Epic Characteristics at length. This assignment incorporates both and intermingles them with their personal lives. I want the students to see that the story is centuries old, but still applicable to our lives today. It is a pattern of life -not just an epic poem.
To begin they brainstorm and answer a series of questions on a chart. For example, it begins with "Farewell to Ithaca". They are asked to discuss a time when they were away from home (does not have to be a move). Then "The Trojan Horse" where they discuss their most creative idea (mental strength) and so on. What they are doing is taking an adventure from the story and applying it to their personal lives.
The second page has them get organized. The paragraphs are set for them as far as what to do in each, but they have to choose what to discuss from their lives and how to support it from the poem.