Unit 7: The Hero’s Journey - Complete Lessons
Lesson 1: Introduction to the Hero’s Journey
Students learn to recognize the archetypal hero’s journey, a deeply-developed concept in literature, TV, comics, and films. They study the structure of the fictional hero’s journey as they prepare to launch their own in ways that use their own heroes as positive role models.
Lesson 2: Call to Adventure
Students study the call to adventure as it sets up the hero’s journey, and they explore what a call to adventure looks or feels like. They use this knowledge to make connections to their own experiences.
Adventures can be healthy or harmful. Students learn how to make values-based choices to avoid unhealthy adventure -- and how to find and create healthy adventures for long-term safety and success.
Lesson 3: Crossing the Threshold
Students identify what a threshold is and consider times in their own lives when they have crossed a threshold, facing fear and anxiety, and developing ways to navigate emotions.
They will identify the thresholds awaiting them in the future, such as joining a sports team or applying to college, and they reflect on how to prepare for those steps.
Lesson 4: Allies, Mentors, and Enemies
What roles do allies, mentors, and enemies play in the hero’s journey? Students use this lesson to identify allies, mentors, and enemies in popular stories and then explore who might be playing these roles in their own lives.
They consider the positive and negative impacts of these relationships, learning how to make healthy choices and avoid harmful relationships.
Lesson 5: Master of Two Worlds
At the end of the journey, the hero has changed. It is this change that provides the mantle of “Master of Two Worlds.” The lessons and skills learned in the new world allow for success (and mastery) in the old world. This change in the hero is the whole reason the story exists. With this transformation in the hero, we also see a change in the world. Simply put, the changed hero changes the world.
In their own lives, students may view the personal growth they’ve experienced and lessons they’ve learned as giving them the potential to change the world. How can our middle school students pay it forward?
Through exercises and referrals, we brainstorm and implement ways to set students up for a lifetime of empathy, resilience, and success for themselves, as well as helping other people on their journeys.