I am once again teaching The Odyssey. I have posted my UbD plan for this unit over at the UbD Educators wiki. The unit plan is not different from what I’ve done with The Odyssey in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever framed it with essential questions. Incidentally, inspired by Tom from Bionic Teaching, I have decided to integrate Google Earth into the project for the first time. I need to do some more playing with Google Earth so I can figure out how it works, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I think it will be a good tool for us.
The performance assessment is a project detailed in English Journal, “Bringing Homer’s Odyssey Up to Date: An Alternative Assessment,” Vol. 86 No. 1, pp. 65-68, Jan 1997. I was a student teacher when I first used it (the 1996-1997 year was my student teaching year), and I have always had great success with it. If you teach The Odyssey, I highly recommend that you get your hands on a copy of that article. I am going to have the students chart their own Odysseus’ journey using Google Earth. I am contemplating publication online through a blog or wiki or some other type of website, but we’ll see.