Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief


Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, is the first novel in a series.  It centers on a 12 year old boy named Percy Jackson living in New York City with his mother and step-father.  While attending a field trip at the Metropolitan Museum of Art his teacher, Mrs. Dodds, transforms into one of the Greek Furies and attempts to attack him.  He is given a a special sword- disguised as a capped pen- by his Latin teacher Mr.Brunner.  

Percy travels to Montauk with his mother and is joined by his best friend, Grover.  Grover warns the pair that they are in danger before they are attacked by the Minotaur.  Percy's mother, Sally, is vanished by the Minotaur leaving Percy to kill it in return.  Grover takes Percy to a special camp, Camp Half-Blood, to heal from the battle.  Grover, believed to be a normal boy, is revealed to be a satyr tasked with directing Percy to Camp Half-Blood.  Percy discovers that the camp, hidden on the North Shore of Long Island off of the Long Island Sound, is a safe haven for children of Greek gods known as demigods.  All campers are 'claimed' by their celestial parent and live among their half-siblings in shared cabins.  As Percy has yet to be claimed by his godly parent he is delegated to the Hermes' cabin where he befriends  cabin leader Luke Castellan.  He meets other campers such as Annabeth Chase (daughter of Athena) and Clarisse La Rue (daughter of Ares).  It is revealed to Percy that Mr. Brunner, who gave him the sword 'Riptide', is actually a centaur named Chiron who trained the Greek heroes of legend.

During a camp-wide game of Capture the Flag Percy is wounded.  He steps into a river, finding that his wounds have healed themselves after contact with the water.  A floating emblem of a trident appears above his head, signalling to the other campers that he is a son of the god of the sea, Poseidon.  This comes as a shock to the campers and Chiron as Poseidon, along with his brothers Zeus and Hades, agreed not to have any more half-blood children as they were potentially too powerful.

Percy is instructed to visit the Oracle, a mummified corpse that can see the future, and learns of Zeus' missing Master Bolt.  As Zeus has learned of Poseidon's broken promise, he blames Percy for the missing Bolt.  He is tasked with finding it and returning it in ten days.  Chiron suggests that Hades might have stolen it, leading Percy, Grover, and Annabeth to go on a quest to retrieve it.  The trio face a variety of mythical monsters on their journey before reaching Hades who does not have the Bolt.  They meet Ares, God of War, while trying to reach the Underworld and learn that Sally Jackson is still alive but being held hostage.

Ares tricked the three, turning out to be the true thief.  It is thought that he was under an enchantment as he seemed to be controlled by an aura.  Percy returns the Master Bolt and his mother is freed.  After returning the Bolt to Zeus, Percy meets his father for the first time.  Upon returning to camp Percy discovers that the mastermind behind the stolen bolt was Luke.  Luke dislikes the gods as he feels that they ignore their half-blooded offspring.  He wishes to resurrect Kronos, the Titan who fathered Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades among others.  Luke runs off after attacking Percy who is healed by Chiron.  Percy leaves camp at the end of the summer, planning on returning the next year.


Book vs. Movie Activity

Students will used Nearpod to write an analysis of the book compared to the film.  Students are to compare and contrast aspects of both mediums (What scenes were included, what characters were excluded, etc).  They are to post their writings through a Nearpod presentation.  In their analysis they are to answer the four questions listed below. They will then vote on Poll Everywhere on whether they enjoyed the book or movie more.


R.L.8.7: Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.

DOK Questions

1. Define the term 'demigod' as used in the novel and movie.

2.  How can one compare the revelation of Luke as the villain in both mediums?  

3.  Construct a logical argument as to which adaptation you enjoyed most using specific examples from either the text or the movie.

4.  Connect an event from either the novel or movie to an actual Greek myth.  In what regards are they similar or different?  Why do you think Riordan chose this particular myth?

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