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It is difficult to do a reading guide for The Odyssey because different textbooks use different translations and excerpts. The reading guide questions here are for Elements of Literature by Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston, 1997, third course, ISBN 13: 9780030672811. I use this version because it is the one with which I am most familiar. I’m posting it as a Word document so that you can edit it to suit your own textbook if necessary, especially since I direct students to specific line numbers in some of the questions.
I like using a reading guide when reading a complex text. First, it forces students to follow along and pay attention. Second, it ensures that the teacher can tell if the students are understanding what they are reading so that she/he can clarify anything students find confusing.
Questions on here contain both simple comprehension as well as closer reading type questions which require students to analyze the text and offer informed opinions.
With a difficult text like The Odyssey, my students and I listen to the entire thing in class on an audiotape or CD. I stop the CD and answer the questions as we get to them in the reading. Occasionally, I will have students independently read certain sections and have them answer the questions themselves.
There are six reading guides here with answer keys. The following sections are covered:
Tell the Story/I Am Laertes’ Son/The Lotus Eaters
The Witch Circe/The Land of the Dead
The Sirens/Scylla and Charybdis
The Beggar and the Faithful Dog/The Test of the Great Bow
Death at the Palace/Odysseus and Penelope
CAUTION: Because this is a Word doc, the formatting may be lost somewhat when you download. Please check and make sure that all pages begin and end where they should and that everything is readable. Thanks.