ALEX Learning Activity


Odysseus: Noble Leader or Arrogant Risk Taker

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Samantha Bonner
System:Jefferson County
School:Jefferson County Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2307
Odysseus: Noble Leader or Arrogant Risk Taker
Digital Tool/Resource:
Intro to The Odyssey Video
Web Address – URL:

This activity is an introduction to Homer's "Odyssey". Students will be introduced to the great poet Homer and his epic poem The Odyssey. Students will have an understanding of King Odysseus and the battles he faced while trying to return home to his family. This activity will also introduce students to terms such as epic, epic poem, hubris, and tragic hero.

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
5 ) Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. [RL.9-10.5]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
23 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.9-10.4]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
26 ) Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. [W.9-10.7]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.9.26- Ask and answer questions about a research topic, including the use of two sources.

Learning Objectives:

Following this activity students will be able to:

1. determine how Homer's manipulation of time by telling the story through a series of flashbacks creates suspense and adds to the story delivery.

2. identify and discuss the Trojan War through research.

3. produce clear and coherent writing using the O-R-E-O paragraph strategy.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

This activity will begin with students viewing a short video, Introduction to the Odyssey. While viewing the video, students will jot down things that stood out to them from the video. After viewing the video, students will share things that stood out to them (the teacher will jot student answers on the board). The next activity is the completing of an  Introduction to the Odyssey Webquest (see handout). This webquest will provide students with the necessary background information to transition to the reading of the Odyssey. Once students have completed the Webquest, they will complete an opinion paragraph graphic organizer responding to the following prompt:  Based on the video and information obtained from the Webquest, would you consider Odysseus an insightful leader or arrogant risk taker? Students will use the O-R-E-O Graphic Organizer to complete this activity. Once they organize their opinions, they will write the final paragraph and turn it in for submission. A standard rubric is attached to formally assess the paragraph. 

Assessment Strategies:

The following activities will be used to evaluate student mastery of objectives:

1. The Odyssey Webquest: The webquest can be used to assess student's background knowledge of the Trojan War and King Odysseus. Teachers should check for student accuracy. To successfully complete this, students will need to:

a. conduct research on the Trojan War and answer related questions. 

b. conduct research on King Odysseus (his strengths/weaknesses and his travels) and answer questions related to him and his travels.

2. O-R-E-O graphic organizer and O-R-E-O (final product): The organizer will be used to assess the student's opinion of Odysseus's hero status. Teachers will use this activity to assess the students' ability to do the following:

a. form an opinion.

b. find textual evidence to support their opinion.

c. write a full explanation of the text support provided.

d. use the information in the O-R-E-O graphic organizer to write a well-written, organized opinion paragraph.


Advanced Preparation:

To prepare for this activity teachers should:

1. have Chromebooks with WiFi accessibility.

2. make copies of the webquest or post the link on Google Classroom.

3. make copies of the O-R-E-O graphic organizer handout or have the organizer template visible for students to view.

*Students should have background knowledge of writing an opinion piece.

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):

This activity is a great introduction to The Odyssey. It provides enough background knowledge for students to understand the story before reading the actual text.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Odysseus, OREO writing, The Odyssey