Take a look inside my completely updated and redesigned Odyssey interactive escape room. New art, new hints, and a brand new digital platform for teaching the Odyssey.
Have you played my Odyssey Escape Room? In this interactive adventure, students play as Telemachus, trying to solve Eumaeus’ puzzle and get access to Odysseus’ famed bow. It’s an introduction to the Greek gods and goddesses, the characters in The Odyssey, and life and customs on Ithaca.
Since I first shared this resource in 2017, it has been in constant evolution, improving for the better based on amazing feedback from students and teachers. One teacher told me that her class needed hints, so she set herself up as the Oracle at Delphi. I worked this into an update in late 2018, adding four hints in verse for the Oracle to give.
Now, there’s an all-new interactive style. The update comes completely free to anyone who’s already purchased the paper version, just re-download the resource from TPT 🙂 And if your classroom doesn’t have access to computers, don’t worry! It’s still playable as a paper version with all the updates and gorgeous new art for teaching The Odyssey.
Ready to check out the updates?
I developed this digital adventure-style game for my series, Burnbridge Breakouts. To build Burnbridge, I partnered with YA author Amanda K. Morgan who wrote an original story for the game, plus developers, and an amazing visual artist, Lily Chan. I created Burnbridge specifically to engage reluctant readers, and you can try the first game for free!
I brought Lily back on board as I revised The Odyssey Escape Room to share this same interactive style. Whereas I originally used public domain images and clipart, I was ready for something more cohesive and engaging for students. Lily did amazing character portraits of Telemachus, Penelope, Eumaeus, and Anticlea.
She also really “sets the scene” for Ancient Greece, like drawing the Greek isle of Ithaca and the inside of a Greek kitchen. She also reimagined all of the statues that Telemachus finds throughout his journey.
Looking for more digital escape rooms? OR how about ways to pair song analysis with The Odyssey? We’ve got you covered.
Here’s what other teachers are saying about teaching the Odyssey with this interactive escape room:
“I have used this three times now and each time my kids all stay engaged and love this activity! I have a hard time getting them out of the room they enjoy it so much!” -Emily
“My students absolutely LOVED this activity! Not just the majority of them, but ALL of them. They couldn’t stop talking about it for days. They have also since requested to do as many of these types of activities as possible.
Not only was it fun, but this particular activity really does a great job at introducing the students to the main events, characters, monsters, gods, and themes of The Odyssey. I feel they understood the content much better because of this introduction.
I cannot recommend this enough for teaching the Odyssey.” -Kristen
“This was one of the best escape rooms my kids have done! I even enjoyed the challenge of working the 10 puzzles myself. Thank you for the time and effort. This really gets kids ready to begin reading the Odyssey. I highly recommend it!” – Shannon
“I taught a class that had five boys with ADD. Wow. They’ve never been so engaged and happy in class! They regularly remind me of that great day in class when we did this activity! “ – Caelah-Beth
“This is my favorite part of my Odyssey unit!” – Hannah
By popular demand I have also created a spinoff product from this game, Greek Pantheon Character Cards. They can be printed full size as posters or in a handheld trading card size. They come included in the Odyssey package but can be purchased separately for teachers who aren’t teaching The Odyssey.
If you share photos of your students playing this game or any of my escape rooms, be sure to tag me @nouvelle_ela!
JoAnne MarkovFebruary 14, 2020 at 6:10 pm
A couple of comments: I’ve now played the paper version, blended password-protected PDF version, and all digital version with my students.
Today I even had students play all three at once, to test them side by side. The all-digital version is significantly easier than the paper version, except perhaps in the map section. Most of my first period class today opted for a paper or blended version, and some didn’t finish in 60 minutes. My second hour all did the fully digital version, and finished much faster, even though they are my remedial class. Fourth hour was given the choice, and most chose digital. They finished within forty minutes.
The hint for the Trojan horse is incorrect on the digital version – it says “What did the Trojans build?” but should read “What did the Greeks build?”
One interesting note is that the all-digital version is more forgiving in terms of answers, allowing for multiple options. I won’t post them here lest students search your page (as one of mine tried to do today!), but I think it’s probably an improvement.
The fact that the 10th section links to the 2nd and goes straight back in the all digital version is SUPER helpful, as that was always a clustercuss with getting students the paper version again.
In all versions, it would be helpful if the arrow on the third column were also on the answer document. I’ve had to tell nearly every group about that.
The association of Apollo with the sun arose after the time period of the Iliad and the Odyssey. His prophetic gifts and association with healing were far more critical to his involvement with the Greeks and Trojans in the Odyssey.
I now have both the original photo and newer drawn versions of the clue cards (vases etc) and the hand-drawn versions are much easier to read and count, especially the muses.
I’m still never quite sure what to do with all the other Olympians, and the “people at home” cards, which I wish included Eurycleia, as we read the text in which she is the only member of the household to recognize Odysseus. I designed a note-taking sheet where students are meant to record the people they meet and concepts they encounter (such as Xenia), but I foolishly added all the Olympians before I realized that we never “meet them” in the escape room. I am experimenting with follow-up activities involving those cards (Olympians and Ithacans waiting at home for Odysseus) and will let you know if any of it works!
Overall, I loved the all-digital version, though it did allow for less movement. As our computers are ancient and wifi spotty, I will always have to have a paper backup, but it was lovely to have to do less while the students played the digital version. We also teach Romeo and Juliet – will you be collaborating on a digital version of that?