The Archetype of the Hero's Journey
The all-purpose guide to epic movies
This chart shows different archetypal roles at work in Harry Potter, Star Wars, and other movies: the hero, the threshold guardian, the trickster, etc.
An Anti-Hero of One's Own
This TED-ED video (4:11) explores the pattern of the anti-hero using references to Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, among others. Captioned, includes follow-up questions and other support.
This Google Doc lists and describes types of heroes, quests, stages, characteristics, and symbols. Students are invited to find examples. Includes graphic organizer.
Chart of Gods
This printable handout details the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, their spheres of influence, symbols, cities, and animals. Adobe Reader required for access.
Comparison of World Myths
This page outlines similarities and differences in world myths.
Deities & Superheroes
Students will compare the Assyrian Bird-Headed Deity limestone relief (found on site) to comic book superheroes and talk about common themes and important differences. Attention to the three-dimensional detail in the relief, as compared to the two-dimensional images of cartoon art, helps them learn about different visual elements artists use to convey certain feelings and concepts. They will then create a superhero of their own. Designed for K-5, includes link to Superhero Database.
Game of Heroes: Exploring Myth through Interactive (Non)Fiction
Students will compare and contrast the biographical account of a real life hero with the mythical quest of a demigod; Theseus and Hercules can be studied side by side with Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Students will ultimately fuse their understandings of the metaphorical journey to view their own selves as heroes through their experiences of challenge and reward in the past and the potential opportunities and treasures of the future. The final project will be the creation of a text based computer adventure game, or "interactive (non)fiction." Students will use what they have learned about the Hero's Journey and the obstacles, settings, adventures, monsters, and rewards along the way to create their own playable hero's journey.
George Lucas and the Power of Myth
Students explore the archetype of the hero's journey, myths of good and evil and their impact in the modern world, and the impact of George Lucas in modern myth. Students read, research, write, debate, and produce projects. This set of standards-based lessons is from the PBS American Masters series.
Hero: The Hero Archetype in Literature, Religion, and Popular Culture
An outline of characteristics with illustrations from Star Wars, Braveheart, The Lion King, and other stories.
Hero Journey Unit Plan
Includes goals/objectives, timeline, lesson plans with standards and ESOL modifications, compare/contrast writing task, presentation assignment, rubric. Designed to accompany study of Beowulf and The Hobbit, may contain resources adaptible for other units. 45 pages; Adobe Reader required.
Heroes are Made of This: Studying the Character of Heroes
Students explore the concept of heroism in life and in literature. Most of the 6 sessions of this unit plan can be used consecutively or individually. This lesson is designed for grades 9-12.
The Hero's Adventure
Questions to support Joseph Campbell's work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Scroll down for a biography of George Lucas. This handout requires MS-Word or compatible application for access.
Includes learning outcomes, student handouts, a list of texts, a variety of learning activities. 18 pages; Adobe Reader required.
The Hero's Journey
Detailed resource of the elements of the hero's journey. Follow links for examples.
The Hero's Journey
Students use this interactive site to create a hero and journey, guided by the archetype.
The Hero's Journey
The resources on this page were designed by a classroom teacher. They include multiple worksheets detailing the hero's journey (including the ones found in Star Wars and The Lion King), a project in which students design a Hall of Heroes, analysis of songs related to heros, the Oliver Stone essay "Where I Find My Heroes," and more.
The Hero's Journey
This YouTube video (5:46) focuses on the character types found in the monomyth. It uses examples from Happy Gilmore, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Indiana Jones, The Wizard of Oz, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Karate Kid. Preview for appropriateness.
Hero's Journey Narrative Unit
This thorough plan includes standards, essential questions, a chart for student progress monitoring, a list of academic vocabulary, writing prompts and scoring guides, reproducible student handouts/graphic organizers, and assessments. It is designed to go with a specific textbook but uses literature that is readily available. Also included: a list of movies that depict the hero's journey. 42 pages; word processor required. Designed for 9th grade.
Heroes in our Everyday Lives
Students listen to the song "Heroes" (link to lyrics included), define hero, list heroes, and write about a personal hero. Extended activity, Heroes Day, suggested. Designed for grades K-1. 2 pages; Adobe Reader required.
A Host of Heroes
This TED-ED video (4:54) uses examples from Beowulf, Oedipus, Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, Zorro, and King Arthur to explore the differences between the epic, tragic, and romantic hero. Captioned, includes follow-up questions.
How have the qualities of heroes changed over time?
In this WebQuest, students compare the qualities of ancient Greek heroes with modern heroes.
Identifying Supporting Evidence from a Text - What is a Hero?
Students watch a 3-minute video about Ping, a young hero who proves himself worthy to be the emperor of China. Students identify what makes Ping's behavior special using evidence from the story. This lesson is designed for grades 1-4. It includes video and support materials.
An Interactive Approach to the Hero's Journey
Students click on a series of icons to read about the stages of Campbell's monomyth or hero's journey. Includes examples from a variety of stories. Appropriate for middle school and older.
Literature: The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The archetype of the hero's journey broken down into different stages. Follow links for examples drawn from literature and movies.
Movie Heroes and the Heroic Journey
Includes learning objectives, handouts, 18 pages; Adobe Reader required.
Multi-Media Hero Analysis
Students will recognize the positive character traits of heroes as depicted in music, art and literature. The class will break into groups and write a working definition of a hero which they will present to the class. Students will discuss multi-media representations of heroes as well as cultural differences among who is considered a hero. The teacher will provide various works of art depicting heroes, and the students will choose one hero to research for an essay.
The Poster Project
Students create a poster documenting most of the stages of Joseph Campbell's archetype. Page includes task, rubric, and models.
A Story of Epic Proportions: What makes a Poem an Epic?
Students learn about the epic poem form and to its roots in oral tradition. They study the epic hero cycle and will learn how to recognize this pattern of events and elements in both ancient and modern texts, including Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
What Makes a Hero?
This TED-ED video (4:34) outlines Campbell's monomyth or hero's journey, with special emphasis on Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Captioned, includes follow-up questions.
Where I Find My Heroes
This essay by Oliver Stone was originally published in McCall's magazine in 1992. One page; Adobe Reader required.