The Iliad Project Ideas

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following projects are intended to help students delve deeper into the Greek epic poem the ''Iliad'' and explore it from unique and distinct perspectives.

The Iliad

The Iliad is a great epic poem by the Greek historian Homer, and the most famous account of the Trojan War. Many students will have heard of the Trojans, their giant horse, and this battle at some point in their lives. However, not many students have actually studied the Iliad itself. The following projects can help students to explore this text in new and creative ways. These projects can be adapted to most appropriate grade levels.

The Iliad Project Ideas

Iliad Puppet Show

Start by dividing the class into small groups. Assign each group a different section of the Iliad. Students will work together to turn this section of the poem into a short play, composed only of dialogue. In order to perform this play, students are going to create puppets representing the main characters out of paper bags. While these are relatively simple puppets, each should be carefully and distinctly designed to reflect the personality of each character, as well as their role in the drama and any motifs associated with them. Give students time to write their scripts, create their puppets, and rehearse, and then host a day for each group to perform.

  • Materials: Copies of the Iliad, brown paper bags, art and craft supplies as desired

Iliad in Pottery

Pottery was a valuable art form in ancient Greece, and ceramics were a way to tell stories and myths. Start by asking students to free journal and think about the crucial events of the Iliad. Students will ultimately select five scenes that they think are most important to the telling of the story in the Iliad.

To present this story, students are going to depict these five scenes as Greek pottery by painting the scenes onto the backs of paper plates. Provide students with reference images of Greek red-figure and black-figure pottery and ask them to try and depict their five scenes in this style.

  • Materials: Copies of the Iliad, paper plates, red, black, and white paints, art and craft supplies as desired

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