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Activity Overview


Like Hercules, Theseus is a hero of many adventures. Have students retell one (or more) of his heroic encounters in the style of a TV episode, or perhaps a skit that will actually be filmed in class. For this activity, students need to move beyond the words on the page and reimagine the myth as a television episode or video. Students need to consider setting, theme, characters, point of view, and more when devising a movie storyboard!


Some of Theseus' Adventures

Theseus encountered quite a few villains in his day:

  • Periphetes the Club-Bearer
  • Sinis the Pine-Bender
  • Phaia (Crommyonian Sow)
  • Sceiron
  • Cercyon
  • Procrustes
  • Medea
  • Minotaur
  • Marathon Bull
  • Amazons
  • Centaurs and Lapiths

Filming Aspects to Consider

  • Setting and props
  • Character costumes
  • Actions and emotions of characters
  • Character dialogue
  • Narrator/voiceover
  • Camera point of view
  • Camera shot distance
  • Camera movement within a shot
  • Background audio, sound effects, music
  • Lighting and/or filters
  • Camera Focus


Check out our film resources like Camera Shots.

Example Theseus Heroic Episode

SHOT # CAMERADIALOGUEACTION
1Establish the shotNarrator: When we last left Theseus, he had discovered his true identity and set off for Athens.Theseus walks toward the camera from a distance.
2Zoom in on PeriphetesNarrator: Periphetes the Club-Bearer. He is the son of Hephaestus and Anticleia. His favorite pastimes include whacking people on the head with a bronze club and robbing their corpses.
3Cut to full shotPeriphetes: Halt, Traveler! I am Periphetes. Don't worry, you won't need to remember my name for much longer. I shall beat you with my bronze club! Periphetes jumps out from behind a tree. Theseus is startled.
4Cut to mid shotTheseus: Wait... is your club REALLY made out of bronze? I've heard the stories, but I just can't believe it. Theseus shows disbelief and disinterest.
4Mid shotPeriphetes: What?! How dare you! I am the mightiest! Take a look for yourself and see my great bronze club!

Narrator: He's got him now!
Periphetes gives Theseus the club.
5Cut to full shot; slow zoom in and focus on PeriphetesNarrator: Our mighty adventurer gave Periphetes exactly what he deserved: a knock on the noggin! Next time on the Adventures of Theseus: Sinis the Pine-Bender! Periphetes lies on the ground. Theseus walks away

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Group

Type of Activity: Modern Day Adaptations: Parody and Satire

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/1] Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)





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