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Lesson Plan

Audience & Purpose: Evaluating Disney's Changes to the Hercules Myth

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Audience & Purpose: Evaluating Disney's Changes to the Hercules Myth

Grades 5 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Rachel R. Kimrey

Arlington, Tennessee


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






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Plot Diagram

Grades   1 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Plot Diagram

The Plot Diagram is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.


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  • Plot Synopsis of Disney’s Hercules

    This well-known Internet movie site provides a synopsis of Disney’s Hercules for the teacher’s reference.  Due to ad content, this site should be used for teacher background only.

  • The Life and Times of Hercules

    This site includes the story of "Hercules" along with classical Greek images to accompany the myth.  This site is slightly more geared toward older learners.  Use this site to print a copy of the myth if desired.

  • Hercules: The Labors of Hercules from Greek Mythology

    This site provides an interactive version of the myth of "Hercules."  It is more appropriate for younger students because it does leave out some differences noted in the other version.

  • Herkales: Kidipede’s History & Science Site for Middle School Kids

    This site provides a summary of specific differences between the Disney version and the original myth; it also provides some links to more in-depth articles on specific labors.  The site concludes with a fun video chronicling the 12 labors.

  • Living Myths: Greek Myths

    This site offers some background on the sources and audience of the Greek myths

  • Ancient Greece: Culture & Society

    This site gives in-depth information as to the daily life and social structure of Ancient Greece.  This may help provide some background on the audience of “Hercules.”

  • Third-Person Objective Point of View

    A teacher’s site from Kilo Middle School, this web page provides some additional information on writing in the third-person in order to achieve a sophisticated tone.

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  1. Secure a copy of Disney’s Hercules and a TV or computer with projector if possible.  Preview the film in regards to the lesson plan.
  2. Schedule to use a laptop cart or computer lab if you would like students to complete activities using technology (not required).
  3. Bookmark your preferred "Hercules" myth or photocopy the myth if not using the computer.
  4. Bookmark the Plot Diagram and Venn Diagram Interactive Tools or photocopy the diagrams if not using the computer.  You could also simply have students draw out a plot diagram or Venn diagram if this is a common skill in your class.  Photocopy the Compare & Contrast Guiding Questions if desired, or arrange to project the questions.
  5. Photocopy the Summary & Critique Tips or arrange to display it on a projector.  Do the same with the Summary & Critique Rubric.
  6. Create your own partial model for the summary and critique.  Arrange to display the start of your model by projection.  You could also use the sample provided here.

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