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The Odyssey and My Personal Ithaca

Last Updated: May-04-2010

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Developed By

  Sara Balsdon
Melissa Adamo

Lesson Title

  The Odyssey and My Personal Ithaca

Length of Lesson

  3 days

Lesson Unit

  Language Arts 9






  Literature and Culture

Michigan Content Expectations

  1.1.7; 4.1.5; 1.1.1;1.1.2;1.1.3; 1.2.1; 1.3.1;1.3.2; 1.3.6; 1.3.9; 2.3.3; 2.3.8; 2.1.6; 2.2.2; 3.1.8; 3.1.1; 2.3.6; 1.4.5; 1.5.2; 1.5.3; 1.5.4; 1.5.5; 2.1.8


  Epic Literature: Self discovery



Language of Literature: Grade 9 textbook.

Use of computer.


Construction paper/art supplies.

Working understanding of project expectations with a variety of mediums for completion.








This is the culminating unit project to The Odyssey.  Students are to show their understanding of the epic by connecting their life experiences to those of Odysseus.By using Ithaca as a metaphor, students connect a major goal in their life. By using Athene as a metaphor, students connect helpers to achieve their "Ithaca". Finally by using the angry gods and monsters, students connect personal obstacles.


Big Idea(s)





Essential Questions


What is a relationship? What obstacles stand in the way of relationships' enduring?


In times of adversity, do family bonds/relationships help us survive?


Does it take courage to sustain a relationship?

How does Odysseus win freedom for himself and for his men? Why is his strategy effective?


What role do relationships play in this epic?




Learning Objectives


Students will be able to:

use examples in the text to connect to the obstacles, helpers, and goals in their life;

use technology to show the metaphor

self-actualize through epic literature


Summative Assessment


You will create a Personal Ithaca.  You will choose to complete the project using any medium such as but not limited to:

1.arts and crafts

2. digital story telling

3. podcasting

4. powerpoint

5. newsletter

6. brochure.

7.  dramatic interpretation

You will decide on a goal, which becomes your Ithaca - this willl be represented as your island that you are striving for. Then you will make connections from the epic to your life regarding helpers who are your Athene, and your obstacles who are your angry gods, or monsters.   For each obstacle or support, your will make connections to the text.

Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening


Listen to "Here Without You" by Three Doors Down.  As students are listening, they will jot down connections to Odysseus and how current his goal actually is and how they can relate.


Lesson Opening Co-teaching Plan


Teachers will begin by asking the students what Odysseus' ultimate goal in life is/was.  They should all respond- Getting home to Ithaca.

Teachers will each take a turn by demonstrating a think-aloud of their brainstorming in relation to what their ultimate goal in life would be.  Each teacher will make a short list of their top three. 

Teachers will then continue by asking the students to think about what their ultimate goal is.  What is the one big thing they want out of life??  Students will brainstorm a few ideas and write them down- their top three. 





Students will share their ideas by coming up to the board to write their options down.  By the time the students are finished, there should be a long list of different ideas.  Students can observe the other ideas in case it sparks something new. 


Exploration Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers will be up alternately calling on students to list their goals ideas on the board.




Check for Understanding


At the end of the goals lesson, two-three qestions will be posed to the students on Turning Point.  Students will reponse to the questions using the clicker (classroom response system).  If 80% of students have mastery knowledge, we will move on with the lesson.  If less than 80% we will reteach the goals unit.

Resource(s) available for this section

Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers are constantly working with students to complete the assessment.




Remind student of Odysseues' goal of "getting home to Ithaca".

Contine lesson objective of the Personal Ithaca.

Students will now decide on their Ithaca.  Once they have written their Ithaca, they will cluster diagram, with Ithaca in the middle, what will help them achieve thier Ithaca, and what will be a hinderance of Ithaca. 

Then, once they have their cluster, they will now need to make the connections with the story. 

Using a T chart, they will place their helpers on the left, and make the epic connections on the right.

Then they will do a second T chart, with their hinderances on the left, and the epic connections on the right.

This pre-writing will set up the capstone project.

At this point, the student will decide what medium to complete their project - see summative assessment options.


Resource(s) available for this section

Explanation Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers support students while they complete this step.


Check for Understanding (2)


Using their T charts, studnets will need to check in with teachers to ensure that the connections they have made are strong and appropriate.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan (2)


Both teachers will check connections of all students.


Extended Practice


Students will choose their project medium, and register their option with the teachers.  Students will select from the choices (as outlined in the Summative Assessment), and they will begin their work.  Each option varies in level of technology, difficuty, and, depth.  However, each option ensures mastery of the unit. 




Students will present their project to the class.  They will show their Ithaca as presented by their medium, and make the epic connections. 

They will have been given a project rubric that the teachers will follow as they present

Resource(s) available for this section

Closing Co-teach Plan


Both teachers will be listening to and grading the presentation of the summative assessment projects based on the given rubric.  Both teachers will collaborate in determining the point values earned along with each writing their own individual comments for the presentation on the rubric.