THE ILIAD PROJECT
The Iliad Project introduces children in Upper Key Stage 2 to the story of the Trojan War.
Through engaging with extracts from Homer's 'The Iliad' as well as storytelling, role-play, script-writing and analysis of paintings, children learn of a rich interpretation of one of the oldest stories of European civilisation. The focus of the project is in developing deep enquiry, philosophical discussion and analytical skills.
Our interpretation of the story explores the tales of the Apple of Discord, the Marriage of Helen and the Birth of Achilles, and uses these three strands to preface the events of the Trojan War.
Children will engage with advanced texts and learn high level comprehension strategies, as well as develop techniques of art appreciation and painting analysis. Through lively facilitation, children freely take roles within the narrative and the project is a great vehicle for the development of students' oracy and performance.
The project can take place over three sessions, with the final session being museum based at the University of Cambridge. Alternatively, a deeper and more writing-focused project can be led over five sessions, again including one in Cambridge.
Our work in Cambridge involves an exploration of the Museum of Classical Archaeology, where pupils investigate the statues of characters from the Iliad, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, where pupils take part in a session led by an expert museum educator.
As with most of our projects, we like to bring a small group of schools together that pupils learn to work with others. Ideally, the group is no larger than 28 - this could mean three groups of nine, or four groups of seven pupils. The Iliad works well as an ambitious project to challenge the pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 who are the most capable in and passionate about literature, storytelling and ancient history.
"I SAW STUDENTS FULLY IMMERSED IN THE DRAMA, COMEDY AND UTTER SHOCK OF THE EVENTS, AND THEIR DIALOGUE AFTER THE SESSION WAS EVIDENCE OF JUST HOW MUCH THEY HAD LEARNED AND ENJOYED IT."
RACHEL READ, TEACHER AT ELMHURST PRIMARY SCHOOL
"THROUGH THE DRAMA ACTIVITIES AND RE-ENACTMENT OF KEY PARTS OF THE STORY, AND THE CHILDREN WERE ABLE TO FULLY IMMERSE THEMSELVES IN THE NARRATIVE AND KEY THEMES OF THE ILIAD."
LISA NAYLOR, TEACHER AND P4C TRAINER AT GALLIONS PRIMARY SCHOOL