Lesson Plan:

The Learning Situation

The Odysseus Project is a culminating activity for a ninth graded language arts unit in which students read the Odyssey of Homer and investigated Grecian mythology and culture. The final task give to students is to construct a short video in which they interview characters in the Odyssey to discover something about the character of Odysseus.
Grouping Students
The student were formed into heterogeneous groups for the duration of the project. Each group consisted of 4-5 students who took the roles of a film crew or small video production company.

Bridges to Prior Knowledge

Student will have read the Odyssey and participated in board-games and multi-media games about Greek Myths. Student will also have viewed a film version of the Odyssey. Students will begin by completing a warm-up activity by individually answering the questions:
1. What do I know about the characters that Odysseus meets on his journey home from Troy?
2. What do I want to know about why Odysseus behaves the way that he does?

3. What did I learn as a result of participating in this study?


The Instructor introduced the following focus questions for the groups to consider:
1. What insights can the characters in the Odyssey give us on the motivation and quality of character of the Greek hero Odysseus?
2. What made Odysseus a hero anyway?
3. Did the character of Odysseus change over the course of his journey?
4. What is the difference between character and quality of character?

The Student Product

The students took approximately two weeks to complete their project.

The first activity was that the collaborative groups decided on the roles that each member would take:
1. Character
2. News Anchor
3. Director/Cameraman
4. Sound Engineer
Students then participated in a brainstorming activity to choose a character and to develop interview questions that will give insight into the character of Odysseus. Students built their sets and costumes and practiced using the video equipemtent before producing their video. The videos were edited by the teacher.

Student evaluated their groups collaborative process and were evaluated by their peers and the instructor for their final presentations.


Students wrote a one page reflection on their participation in the project and describing what they felt that they had learned from the experience.

"Teacher Double Feature"
A competitive grant opportunity provided through a partnership between the Contra Costa County Office of Education and Pacific Bell.

Contra Costa County Office of Education
77 Santa Barbara Rd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

May 2002