Ending our Odyssey but Continuing our Journey: The Odyssey and Self-Selected Reading Project

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SWBAT cite specific evidence from "The Odyssey" by answering text dependent questions; SWBAT analyze self-selected reading texts by completing a book jacket

Big Idea

Students make the trip home with Odysseus through text dependent questions and continue the journey through their self- selected texts during project work.

Do Now:

5 minutes

For the "Do Now" today, I will ask my students to make a list of the traits of Odysseus and a brief explanation of how these traits might have impacted his life overall, using evidence from what we have read(CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). For example, students might say that Odysseus is loyal because he thought about his wife often during the time that he was gone and eventually withstood great challenges (Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis) in order to get back to her.

I am having them do this because next class, we will have an assessment on the last few books of The Odyssey and the assessment will require that students identify traits of characters and characterization techniques.

Comprehension Work Time

30 minutes

For this part of the lesson, I will ask my students to spend time re-reading and answering study questions for Books 21-23. When I found the link to these questions, I immediately thought they would hold students accountable for reading and help them understand the plot of the story. I also think it is a good idea to answer these questions because they are text dependent questions that require students to return to the text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). Although many of these questions do not fit in the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy, they will allow students to demonstrate that they understand what they have read. I have found that they also serve as a guided reading activity because the questions are chunked by lines. In addition, answering these questions will help students prepare for the assessment on The Odyssey during the next class. This sample of student work, shows one student's responses to the questions for Books 21, 22, and 23 or The Odyssey.

Odyssey Wrap Up

5 minutes

We'll wrap up The Odyssey part of the lesson by having a brief discussion about Odysseus' flaw. I will ask students what they think is Odysseus' most challenging flaw by using specific events in the story to support their responses (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.a). I will ask a few students to share their ideas and have other students do a quick vote on whether they agree or disagree (by a show of hands). I am doing this so that my students can reflect on how people's flaws are often manifested in the decisions they make and the actions they take. This directly aligns with our theme question for this unit, How does learning about others help us learn about ourselves? I expect that students will say that Odysseus flaw is his arrogance. He first shows this when he unnecessarily tells the Cyclops his name. Students might also say that Odysseus arrogance shows in his lack of respect for the gods. This contributes to a lot of his challenges throughout the Odyssey.

SSR Project Work Time

45 minutes

During "project work time," I will explain the conflict panel of the SSR Book Jacket Project. For this project, students are reading a chosen fiction or narrative non-fiction text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.10) and completing several writing and reading analysis tasks.  The book they chose needed to be fiction or narrative non-fiction in order to be able to analyze characters, themes, conflicts, etc. I chose this project because it is an assessment of whether students can demonstrate reading and writing skills with a self-selected, independently read text.

One of the tasks for the project is to be able to identify three main conflicts (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3) and resolutions, illustrate them, and label them as internal or external. This part of the project is important because conflicts in a story help the reader to identify the theme(s) in a text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2). I have been chunking the project so that small portions are completed in class and others are completed at home. Today,  my students will spend about 40 minutes creating or drafting that panel. Here's a clip of students working on the conflict panel during class.

While they are working, I will be walking around and asking questions about their understanding of the conflicts in their self-selected texts. This will help me to assess whether they are engaging with their texts in meaningful ways.

Closure: Mapping out the Workload

5 minutes

We will close out this lesson by mapping out the rest of their project workload. I am having them spend time doing this because their projects are due in just a few days, and I want them to use appropriate time management strategies to ensure that they complete the projects ON TIME. I am being really strict this quarter about accepting late work because I want my students to get in the habit of meeting deadlines.

If I have noticed that students did not finish the study guide during class, I will tell them that they can finish it up and bring back the completed assignment for next session.