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|Grades||6 – 12|
Why Use This Tool
Harry Potter. Frodo. Luke Skywalker. These popular characters from novels and films share a common root: the ancient myth of the hero's journey. This online tool gives teens the background information they need to take a closer look at a favorite epic hero (such as Simba or Batman) or to create a hero of their own.
If you're using the tool to go along with a reading or viewing activity, take a look at the overview information and talk with teens about examples of epic heroes they already know. Before watching or viewing, ask teens to think about ways a familiar hero may be similar or different from the examples mentioned in the overview. Then, go into the tool and visit each of the nine components. Ask teens to predict how the hero in the story they're about to read or view will fulfill or deviate from the traditional hero's pattern. After reading or viewing, encourage teens to think about the ways the hero in the story actually did follow the pattern.
The tool can also unleash teens' creative potential. Read through each of the elements of the hero's journey pattern and let teens come up with heroes as realistic or larger-than-life as they choose. After completing and printing the outline, help teens write their stories, create comic versions, or produce short films of the heroes' adventures.
- Younger learners will enjoy using the tool to create heroes' journeys about themselves. Using familiar people, places, and objects as inspiration, they can transform their everyday lives into stories of epic proportions.
- If you're working with a group of teens, give the group one element they must have in common (for example, all of their heroes must have a wooden bow as their special weapon). Then let them each create their own hero myth on their own. Have them share their stories, noting how the similar element functioned in each of the different tales.
- Another idea for a group of learners is to have them collaborate to create a hero. Teens can take turns deciding how the hero will fulfill each of the elements and then print out their work to see how their shared hero's journey came together.
We invite you to share your experiences with this resource and provide us with any feedback on how it can be improved.