English Language Arts, Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Antigone
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Justice
  • Thebes
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    The Oedipus Myth

    The Oedipus Myth


    In this lesson, students continue reading, annotating, and discussing Antigone. Students will learn more about the Oedipus myth and consider a different perspective on the story.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • As you continue reading Antigone, determine which students may need support such as Guided Reading. During class reading time, meet with those students to assist them.
    • Help students locate copies of the Independent Reading texts if necessary.

    Antigone Recap

    • Before having students resume their reading, ask them to talk over their understanding of the play.
      • ELL: Monitor that all students are engaged, and give support to those who seem reluctant or unable to contribute.
    • Use the time to eavesdrop on students’ conversations to make sure they “get it” well enough to move on. If not, you may need to fill in some gaps or clarify either in with small groups or the whole class.
      • SWD: Be sure that all students feel encouraged and welcomed to share even though they may work at a slower pace and need more wait time than their peers. As you’re facilitating the discussions, be aware of how much students are sharing. If you consider it necessary, speak to students about the importance of allowing enough time for everybody to participate.


    What’s happened in the play so far?

    • Briefly review the action in Antigone so far with a partner.


    • Give students 10 minutes to read.
    • Add to the class Characters in Antigone chart as needed.

    Work Time

    Continue reading Antigone .

    • Silently read and annotate from Haemon’s entrance to Antigone’s entrance (lines 631–805). As you read, note any questions you have about the play so far.
    • Mark any passages that are confusing.

    The Oedipus Myth

    • Give students time to talk briefly about Oedipus and his connection to the play.
    • If students need more familiarity with the Oedipus myth, see the Summary of the Oedipus Myth.

    Work Time

    Who is Oedipus?

    • Review who Oedipus is and his connection to the play Antigone with a partner.
    • Then discuss the Oedipus myth and its connection to the play with your classmates.


    • Introduce “Myth” by Muriel Rukeyser, and read it aloud for students.
    • Call on two or three students to read the poem aloud to the class.
    • Check with students about words they don’t understand and provide definitions and explanations.

    Work Time

    "Myth" is a poem by Muriel Rukeyser about Oedipus and the Sphinx.

    • Listen as your teacher and several classmates read the poem “Myth” aloud.
    • As you listen, mark any places in the poem you don’t understand, including vocabulary words.

    About "Myth"

    • Give students about 3 minutes for the Quick Write.
    • Before opening up a Whole Group Discussion, give students chance to share and rehearse their ideas with partners.
    • Facilitate a Whole Group Discussion, using the questions given students and any others you want to add.
    • Remind students to refer to specific lines from the poem as they share their ideas.

    Work Time

    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What word or phrase is most important in the poem, and why do you think so?

    Open Notebook

    Share your response with a partner.

    Then discuss the Quick Write and the following questions about "Myth" with your classmates:

    • What is the question Oedipus asks of the sphinx when he meets her again?
    • What does her answer suggest about Oedipus’ crimes and mistakes?
    • What does the sphinx’s final question imply about her perspective on law? How do her beliefs and goals impact her judgment?
    • How does the poem relate to Antigone ?
    • In Antigone , where does Creon show a bias or attitude about women?

    Refer to specific lines from the poem as you share your ideas.

    More Antigone

    • Give students time to resume reading Antigone .
    • Encourage students to submit any questions or comments about Antigone , and let them know you will use their comments when they finish the play.

    Work Time

    Continue reading Antigone .

    • Silently read and annotate from Antigone’s entrance to just prior to Teiresias’s entrance (lines 806–966). As you read, note any questions you have about the play so far.
    • Mark any passages that are confusing.

    Questions About Antigone

    • Encourage students to generate some questions about Antigone for the Opening of the next lesson.
    • Let students know they will have an opportunity to meet with others who chose the same title during the next lesson.


    Generate questions about your reading.

    • Write your questions and comments and submit them to your teacher.

    Open Notebook

    They will be discussed in the next lesson.

    Independent Reading

    • Students will have 19 lesson days, plus weekends and potentially other scheduled off-days to finish their Independent Reading Group Novel.


    Continue your ongoing homework assignment.

    • Read your chosen novel. You will need to read the entire novel by Lesson 23.
    • Submit your first two journal entries and any questions you have to your teacher by the end of Lesson 5.