EPIC narration:
what an awful adventure!



This WebQuest intends to help you in the study of the epic. In particular, it is focused on the two poems attributed to Homer and Virgil's Aeneid. But the epic, as you know, does not end with these two authors: it has spread to very different times and places. Unfortunately, we won't have the time to deal with these other epics, which are often even more interesting for you students. For this reason, we prepared this WQ for you, a guided search on the web to discover the epic, from the classical period to the present day. You will be the absolute protagonists. You will look for news and write an interactive lesson on these topics.

The epic genre presents general characters and during your work, always keep the following in mind characteristics of the epic genre:

  1. Is a narrative that involves the accomplishment of an achievement?
  2. Has the function of transmitting knowledge, values, models of a given culture?
  3. The protagonists are men with qualities superior to the norm.
  4. Presence of the supernatural element (divinity, mermaids, magicians, demons, etc.)
  5. Is written in verse and adopts a solemn language?
  6. There is a proemio, in which the author summarizes the subject of the poem.

The WQ is addressed to investigate and surf the Internet for discovering more about the characteristics of the epic and you and your mates divided in groups will present a final product.

Your final product will have to develop the following topics, appropriately divided into paragraphs.

  • The plot (at a glance)
  • The main themes and reference values
  • The characters (main and secondary)
  • The supernatural elements
  • The language and versification
  • The analysis of the project The work must be enriched with relevant iconographic material to your theme.


You are required to accomplish four tasks in this WebQuest. You must follow the instructions of your teacher and search the web for news on the topic that will be assigned to you. You will be divided into groups. At the end of the work, each group will develop a multimedia work, in which they will present their topic at best and present it to the other classmates.

We propose four/five groups whose task is to investigate the epic narration in different fields. Together, the groups will give an extensive idea of the Epic during the centuries. Select the groups you intend to propose, but consider the timeline in order to have at the end an idea of the development of the epic narration.


The proposed groups are the following:

  • Grecist (to investigate the main epic expressions in ancient Greece)
  • Latinists (to investigate the main epic expressions in ancient Latin literature)
  • Medievalists (Epic in the Middle age)
  • Indianists (to discover the Mahābhārata great story)
  • Nordic saga narrativists (to explore the nibelungs saga) Humanists (Epic in the Humanism)
  • Contemporaneists (Tolkien and the fantasy)


  1. Browse the sites discussed with your teachers and get an idea of the contents,
  2. To search for other sources on the web or on paper,
  3. After a first consultation of the material available layout a scale of the work you intend to do;
  4. Download the pages that you consider useful for your work to your PC and read them carefully, further selecting the information of interest,
  5. Extend the work, adding if necessary also images, sounds, and videos. Everyone will take advantage of the knowledge available,
  6. Prepare the PPT product, taking into consideration that each of you will have to expose a part of the work done,
  7. Expose the results of your research to your friends and then listen to their reports. In this way, you will acquire a complete knowledge of the epic genre, from the classical age to the present day, and create in a Powerpoint a “story” about how you have learned


First, you need to research the history of the Epic development. And to have to define what is “epic” in literature.

You will consider that the epic poem or story is a common way for a civilization to tell stories about how it was founded and the central moral and political values that underpin its society. Epic stories are related to the problem of liberty because many of these foundation stories deal with issues such as the nature of legitimate authority, the problem of rebellion, and external threats to the stability of the community.

You will have a look at these titles:

You will analyze the Lord of the Rings as also similar to epic narratives in that its internal logic and coherence do not depend on a realist kind of verisimilitude, but neither is it a dream-like world without reference to space and time. In The Lord of the Rings, you will find a very obvious intention to invest the fictional world with considerable spatial and temporal coherence by means of constant references to distances and dates, tales, and (pseudo)historical data that evoke a thoroughly historicized and complete world in spite of the presence of supernatural elements.

Surf the Internet discover the main text of the Norse and southern sagas and go through the classic Greek and Latin epic narrations.


You are requested to find videos or other materials that can give you information and suggestions about the epic in the classic and Nordic worlds.



We suggest after having a clear idea of the epic in the ages, to create a conceptual map for proceeding in a correct and linear way.



Being a “critic of literature” is a difficult job!   You need to read the original materials and stories (even though selecting some parts of them ) and have an original and personal idea, however,   everything you affirm or write should be based on evidences.

You can use these videos and websites to find ideas and suggestions, but you are recommended to find more websites and to select the information properly:


Epic in literature



Epic in classic literature



Medieval epic



Norse literature



Indian epic






Contemporary epic


Evaluation of learning achievements

The teacher will evaluate the final product (task 4) considering the following criteria.


Criteria for Evaluating Presentations

One of the best ways to help students create and deliver good presentations involves providing them with information about how their presentations will be evaluated. Some of the criteria that you can use to assess presentations include:

  • Focus of the presentation,
  • Clarity and coherence of the content and adequate knowledge of the Roman history,
  • Thoroughness of the ideas presented and the analysis,
  • Clarity of the presentation,
  • Effective use of facts and details,
  • Lack of grammatical and spelling errors,
  • Design of the slides,
  • Effective use of images,
  • Clarity of voice projection and appropriate volume,
  • Completion of the presentation within the allotted time frame.

In this section we will not dive very deep into the underlying educational theories about evaluation and testing: there’s too much out there than we could possibly cover in this small project report.

Instead, we want to concentrate on procedures that enable both students/pupils and their teachers to establish if the learning goals of the Webquest were achieved and, if so, to what extent. We recommend teachers make use of a combined evaluation procedure, that consists of:

  1. Statements by learners (after being asked to do so)
    • telling what they learned about the subject (knowledge-oriented self-evaluation): now (after going through the Webquest) I know that …
    • telling what he/she learned about herself/himself (formative evaluation, in this case, diagnostic self-evaluation): now (after going through the Webquest) I know about myself that I …
      This pair of basic statements add up to a so-called learner report, in which the pupil/student reflects on what the Webquest brought him/her in terms of acquired knowledge and new personal views and attitudes concerning the subject.

    For instance:

    • ‘I learned that in medieval times the hygiene of people was hardly a concern which helped to let epidemic diseases like the Plague cause so many casualties’ Or:
    • ‘I learned the facts and I know the earth is warming, but I cannot understand why people were so stupid to pollute the world and let it warm up so much.
    • ‘I learned from the information about diseases that this subject is more appealing to me than I would expect in advance: maybe I should consider a medical career’. Or:
      ‘The Webquests confirms what I thought already: I could not care less about the climate and global warming. In fact, I thought it was all a hoax and I still do!’

    This kind of assessment seems more subjective than it actually is: in his standard work on testing and evaluation (and much more), simply called Methodology (1974), Prof. A.D. de Groot described how consistent the student’s self-evaluations appeared to be: when asked again after 5 or 10 years, their evaluation would almost be the same. De Groot advised teachers to use the learner report as a start for joint evaluations, striving for consensus between teacher and student/pupil about the learning outcomes and their value for the learner, but also compared with the learning objectives as stated in the curriculum.

  2. The learning achievements are visible in the output produced by the students: it is physical evidence: reports, answers to questions asked in the Webquest, presentations, and performance during presentations (preferably recorded). The teacher completes an evaluation grid stating clearly what the learning outcomes for the student/pupil are. The categories in the grid can be modified by the teacher to cover more precisely the content of a Webquest.

    >We advise teachers to use the grid to start a joint evaluation discussion, aiming at consensus or at least understanding between the teacher and the student/pupil about the learning outcomes: were they achieved (as planned in the curriculum and communicated before the Webquest started) and to what extent? To communicate the learning goals clearly before any learning activity starts, is a transparency requirement that is widely acknowledged in the educational community. The history of making learning objectives explicit goes back to the evaluation ‘Bible’ by Bloom, Hastings and Madaus: ‘Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of student learning’ (1971), a standard work that also served as inspiration for the earlier mentioned Prof. De Groot.


The procedure also applies when students/pupils have worked together on a Webquest. The teacher will ask questions about individual contributions: ‘What did you find? What part did you write? How did you find the illustrations? Who made  the final presentation?’

All the evidence (of learning efforts and outcomes plus joint evaluations) is preferably stored in the learning portfolio of the student, or in any other suitable storage system (folders with written or printed documents, online collection of files, etcetera ).

Changes in personal points of view and feelings are harder to value and here the consensus between teacher and student/pupil about experiences during the learning process provides essential insights.

The grid below gives an example of how the evaluation of the learning process and achievements can be shaped: what kind of reactions to the Webquest does the teacher expect and how valuable are they? Is the teacher capable to explain the value or score allocated to answers or presentations given by pupils? Does the pupil/student understand the evaluation outcomes, and does he/she agree? If an agreement (consensus is not possible, it is still the teacher who decides how to value the student’s work.

Please note that the text in the grid addresses the pupil/student directly: this is important and it is in fact a prerequisite for using such an evaluation grid: it is specifically meant to enable a discussion of learning results between teacher and student and not to communicate learning achievements of learners to others who had no direct role in the Webquest.

Evaluation Grid


With this webquest we have made a long journey into the world of the epic narration. A journey that you will surely resume in the coming years, deepening some of the topics and authors treated. Now, to best conclude the experience, you just have to exchange multimedia presentations with each other, so that each of you can have all the material resulting from your research available.

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The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
f: +357 2465 00 90

Funded by
sCOOL-IT erasmus logo EN

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
f: +357 2465 00 90

Funded by
sCOOL-IT erasmus logo EN

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Talk To Us

t: +357 2466 40 40
f: +357 2465 00 90

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