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Task Rotation – The Twelve Labors of Hercules

Brief Description of Activity:

Task rotation is a great way to provide student choice and differentiate student learning based on the four learning styles (master, interpersonal, understanding, and selfexpressive). In this post reading activity, students have an opportunity to choose a task to demonstrate understanding and analysis of a text. Students should:

1. Read the informational text(s) linked below.

Students will need about 30 minutes to read the text(s). This can be done as a read aloud, or students may read the text on their own.

2. Hand out the task rotation sheet and rubric. Read and clarify the tasks and explain that students are to choose and complete one option/task from the task rotation sheet.

3. Explain that task rotation allows students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and analysis of learning through different products and styles.

4. Encourage students to use the text to provide evidence, details, examples, and inferences.

5. Have students self-assess their learning and finished product using the attached rubric (for student and teacher use).

This activity is flexible and adaptable to the needs of the teacher. Task rotation can be done at home or at school, and it can be done individually or collaboratively. Students can use a wide range of traditional tools

(markers, paper, and pencils) and technology tools (computer, camera, software) to complete the tasks.

Some students may even want to do more than one task. If you need more help, or want to watch a video tutorial of how to use this task rotation, check out this video: http://youtu.be/LPfoijnKuNU .

Common Core Alignment :

This activity supports common core reading standards for informational texts (CCRI1, CCRI3, & CCW4) for grades six through eight and can be adapted to be used in almost any classroom.


A link to high-quality, high-interest informational text (below).

Four task rotation options specifically designed to differentiate learning based on learning styles.

A detailed rubric for student self-assessment and teacher use.

A link to a how-to, hands-on video tutorial describing the creation, use, and implementation of the task rotation activity.

Time needed for activity:

5-10 minutes preparation

One to two 50 - 70 minute class periods to read the informational text (link below) and complete the task rotation.

Task Rotation informational texts: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/bio.html


The first link provides a short biography of Hercules. The second link provides a detailed summary of each of the twelve labors of Hercules.

Hercules Task Rotation

Hercules completed 12 labors as punishment for murder. You read about the labors in the informational text. Now it’s your turn to show what you learned.

Students learn in different ways. Sometimes it helps to have a choice when learning about something new. Read over the four tasks/assignments below. Pick one of the four assignments and complete. Use the rubric below to guide you. And when you are finished, use the rubric to assess or grade how you did on your task/assignment. Remember, take your time and demonstrate what your learned from the text.

Task Rotation

Mastery…what do you know?

Create a chart, brochure, or mini-book

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

You are a rep orter for the local news…and you detailing the 12 tasks that Hercules had to complete during his punishment.

Make sure to describe each task in detail (with a few sentences) and illustrate at least three examples of the tasks Hercules had to complete. Be sure to include facts, details, and examples in your product.

Modern Day Hercules…

Obviously modern day superheroes are based somewhat on the myth of

Hercules. Imagine if the world had a modern Hercules that had to perform twelve tasks. He would probably have to complete different tasks than the one we read about. Think about and develop at least 6 new tasks that a modern day

Hercules would have to complete in today’s world. Create a 6 pane (window) paper/comic with a description and drawing of your 6 modern day tasks for

Hercules. have been sent to cover Hercules as he attempts to complete ONE of his tasks. Write a newspaper article (complete with a headline and picture) describing, in detail, the labor or task to be completed, Hercules, and any witnesses. Be creative and make sure to include facts, details, and examples.

Design a video game…

Video game company Infinity Ward, designer of

1 st

person shooter video games like MW3, wants to hire you to develop a new video game based on the Labors of Hercules. Think, create, describe, and design a video game based on the Labors of Hercules that would be fun and exciting to play. Create a cover/case for your new Hercules game with a picture/drawing on the cover (with title and rating) and a general plot/game summary on the back. Remember, you are trying to persuade people to buy your game. Be sure to provide facts, details, and relevant information about your new game.

Hercules Task Rotation Rubric

Use the rubric below to guide you as you complete your task rotation. Your ideas and content are the most important part of this assignment. You demonstrate understanding, knowledge, skill, and learning by including facts, details, and examples from the text in your finished product. Do you best, try your hardest, be creative, and have fun!

Ideas and Content

AKA - “Do you know what you are talking about?”



Level Performance

Ideas and content of task provide above-average analysis and understanding of the text with evidence from the text.



Level Performance

Ideas and content of task support some analysis and understanding of the text with occasional evidence from the text.

Writing uses an appropriate organizational structure.

Does Not Meet



Ideas and content of task do not support analysis and understanding of the text. No evidence from the text is present or used.


(Organization and


AKA – “Does your writing make sense and flow?”

Product (Structure and Audience)

AKA – “Is your writing/task interesting to others?”

Writing uses and establishes a clear and appropriate organizational structure.

Writing and task conveys information and engages the reader in a unique or interesting way.

Writing and task effectively conveys information and engages the reader.

Writing lacks any organizational structure or is unclear.

Writing and task does not convey information or engage the reader.

Attributions: Hercules Statue image (Creative Commons), Twelve image (Creative Commons), Hercules vase (Creative Commons)