The If Odyssey: A Philosophical Journey Through Greek Myth and Storytelling for 8 - 16-Year-Olds

Author(s): Peter Worley

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The If Odyssey draws out the philosophy that lies behind each story in Homer's epic tale to introduce children not only to the exciting fables of Odysseus, but also to that other great Ancient Greek tradition, philosophy. Explore with Odysseus the value of happiness, non-existent entities, moral dilemmas, the philosophy of prophecy, and the nature of love among many other philosophical issues. From the author of The If Machine, this book offers stories and session plans suitable for use across the curriculum with children aged 8-16. Online you'll find maps of Odysseus' journey, The Words of Tiresias that provides clues for the children as to Odysseus' progress and an Ancient Greek language workshop with accompanying worksheets. You can use the 'Storykit' section, which provides hints and tips on storytelling skills, to bring the tales of The Odyssey to life and stimulate independent, critical thinking with your class.


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Using Homer's epic tales as inspiration, this book offers teachers session plans and storytelling tips to facilitate philosophical discussions with children aged 8-16.

This imaginative journey through the events of Homer's Odyssey will delight and engage children and adults in a philosophical adventure. Worley offers a masterful guide, providing rich philosophical questions and a clearly outlined method to support teachers in nurturing creative and critical thinking in their students. He has interwoven ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, social philosophy, aesthetics into a narrative 'odyssey', using the iconic story of the human search for truth, beauty and goodness. I can easily see this text being adopted in elementary, secondary and even college level. Wendy C. Turgeon, Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. Joseph's College, New York, USA -- Wendy C. Turgeon What Peter Worley has achieved with The If Odyssey is nothing short of genius! As a secondary school teacher of English, Theories of Knowledge and Philosophy, I find this book an irreplaceable resource. Not only does it present the teacher with crucial pedagogical instruction, but with a systematic program in how to cultivate the requisite skills of storytelling. Moreover, Worley synthesises, with clarity and precision, how to relate key philosophical concepts to each of the stories from The Odyssey. Simply brilliant!? Mark C. Blythe, Teacher and Postgraduate Researcher in Philosophy of Education -- Mark C. Blythe Anything that inspires people to think and to understand how to think is a great boon. This book is just such a boon, and a great addition to the Worley assault on unthinking-ness. ?Professor A. C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities -- Professor A. C. Grayling Brilliantly thought provoking, the If Odyssey hooks you from the start and draws you in as cleverly, compellingly and seemingly effortlessly as if it had been put together by the 'wily' Odysseus himself. This is philosophy at its most approachable. David Stuttard, writer, classical historian and author of Power Games: Ritual and Rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics -- David Stuttard This splendid book by Peter Worley offers excellent material to help teachers introduce philosophical dialogue in their classes. Worley presents a good classic story, adapted to our time while remaining faithful to the original text, and suggests a multitude of activities and didactic orientations. It is one of the most useful books I've ever read. Felix Garcia Moriyon. Presidente of the International Council of Philosophy with children -- Felix Garcia Moriyon

Peter Worley is founder and CEO of The Philosophy Foundation (, a charity that specialises in philosophy in primary and secondary schools, based in the UK. Peter has over 15 years' experience in teaching and regularly gives talks and presentations about philosophy in schools. He is a Fellow of the RSA and is currently studying for a PhD at King's College London, UK. Tamar Levi is an author and illustrator based in London, UK and has her own website: Tamar is also researching a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Roehampton University, UK. Angie Hobbs is Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University.

Acknowledgements \ Preface \ Section One: How to use The If Odyssey \ Introduction \ Ariadne: The Art of Facilitation \ Aoidos: The Lost Art of Storytelling \ Logos: Teaching Strategies \ Section Two: The Odyssey \ 1. The War (The Wooden Horse) \ 2. The Battle (The Ciconians) 3. Happiness and Forgetting (The Lotus Eaters) \ 4. Nobody's Home (The Cyclops) \ 5. Captain or Crew? (Aeolus and the Bag of Winds) \ 6. Dinner Guests (The Laestrygonians) \ 7. Choices (Circe and the Pig Men) \ 8. Under the World (Tiresias and the Underworld) \ Chapter 9. The Singing Women (The Sirens) \ 10. The Horror of The Rocks (Scylla and Charybdis) \ 11. Clouded (The Cattle of Helios) \ 12. The Concealer (The Island of Kalypso) \ 13. The Storyteller (The Phaeacians) \ 14. The Stranger (The Return Home) \ Section Three: After The Odyssey \ Appendix 1: The Hero \ Appendix 2: Introduction to Ancient Greek \ Appendix 3: Ancient Greek Workshop \ Appendix 4: Winged Words (Oidipus and The Riddle of The Sphinx) \ Bibliography

General Fields

  • : 9781441174956
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : 0.504
  • : September 2012
  • : 234mm X 156mm X 28mm
  • : United States
  • : November 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Worley
  • : Paperback
  • : Tamar Levi
  • : 398.20938
  • : 160
  • : 25