The following lesson plans are designed to work in an 82-minute block. However, the teacher can add or subtract elements to suit his/her needs on any particular day.
Activity #1: I Need a Hero
Introduction to Lesson
Journal: What is a hero? List five to six qualities and two examples of a hero.
: Teacher will ask students for their examples and list all ideas on the board. Once this is done, students will return to their journals and choose the top three characteristics of a hero and explain why they chose those. Once done, students are to share with a partner.
Using PowerPoint, present the characteristics of the epic poem, the epic cycle, and the epic hero (information found in section labeled
The Literary Epic)
In small groups, students will complete a chart to begin creating their own epic hero and epic journey. Students will complete the following:
1 Name of Hero
2 The Force the Hero will battle
3 The Journey (specifically where will the journey start and finish)
4 Obstacles the Hero must overcome
5 How will the epic end
6 Theme or Real Reason hero took the journey
Groups will put information on chart paper and present to the class.
Groups can create a children's book detailing the hero's journey. Students can also act out their mini-epic.
Activity #2: Woe is Me
Introduction to Lesson:
Journal: "I wish I could see _______ again" - fill in the blank and write for three minutes
In pairs, students will share journal prompt. Partner will then write a letter to the other person in which they react to what was read.
Ask students what emotions they felt as they remembered someone they had not seen in awhile. Ask why they chose that particular person. Teacher will then explain what it means to lament and why people might write a lamentation for another person.
In small groups, students will reread Tablet Eight of
The Epic of Gilgamesh
. Groups will choose the line that stands out the most and the line they feel expresses Gilgamesh's true emotion over the loss of Enkidu. When groups are done, a representative from the group will come to the board and write their chosen lines. Class will discuss findings and what these lines reveal about Gilgamesh and reveal about loss in general.
Students will write a ten line lament for someone they lost.
Activity #3: Gilgamesh Theater
1 Students will be put into groups of three or four, depending on class size. Each group will be assigned one of the eleven tablets from Foster's translation of
The Epic of Gilgamesh
2 Groups will read the tablet and develop a play to act out their particular tablet. Groups must use some lines directly from the text as well as paraphrasing lines to make the action move along.
3 Groups will also analyze their particular tablet and how it relates to the major themes in the epic.
4 Performances will be 5 minutes in length and will begin with a reading of the groups' analysis of the tablet. Points will be given for costumes, creativity, and adherence to requirements.
Note: Teachers can be as creative as the class will allow. Some teachers may wish to bring students to the auditorium to perform on stage. Others may allow students to bring the epic into modern times.
Written Assignments: 1. The Journal of Gilgamesh: Journal questions will be done each day. The answers to the questions will help students participate in the discussion as well as get thoughts and ideas on paper. At the end of the unit, students will choose their best seven or eight entries, type them, and hand them in as a test grade.
2. The Essay of Gilgamesh: Teachers can choose to assign one or all of the topics listed below:
1 Analyze the role of women in the text.
2 Analyze the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Does this type of relationship mirror any others in literature?
3 Discuss Gilgamesh and whether or not he fits into the mold of "epic hero".
4 Compare and contrast the Flood story of Gilgamesh to that of Noah in the Bible.