Teacher Review For The Voyage of Ulysses

Interactive app brings to life ancient tale

Lisa L.
Classroom teacher
Sweet Home CSD
Amherst, NY
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My Grades 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
This app "The Voyage of Ulysses" is very applicable to those who study the Odyssey in class. This interactive app brings to life the prose on the page. For a middle school or ninth grade text, it could be viewed as a supplement. Between the use of the touch screen, and the text readability, it was clearly user-friendly for all of my students, particularly the ELL population struggling to make sense of Homer's words. After reading each story, students could access this app in order to reinforce the basic understanding, and visually connect with the prose. For me, the "read to me" function didn't work on my ipad. This was unfortunate because I wanted to see how it would flow for the user who utilizes the touch screen often.
My Take
This teaching tool is essential for those who struggle with teaching this complex text. Students often lose sight of the meaning of the prose, and this app boils down the text in digestible bites. I also appreciated the readability of the text for those students who are ELL, special needs or low literacy. It is interesting enough for even a fifth grader to comprehend the journey of Ulysses! The buttons on the bottom of the screen allow the user to "turn the page", or to retreat to another page of the story, or to access the index where the map of Ulysses journey is shown. Further, the question mark brings to life an element of the story that is not shown on the main screen. Students found the interactive portion to be of high interest - they were never sure what would be "active" and what new understanding would be revealed by touching parts of the screen. The drawings are replicas of those found in the original prose, and students would connect these with the actual text. They are not overly animated, or cartoonish which assists students with identifying the threats that Ulysses encounters. This was one of my favorite texts to teach to a 9th grade class, and this would have assisted my struggling readers or chronically absent students when we waded through this text.