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Activity Overview



Related to both plot diagram and types of literary conflict, the ”Hero’s Journey” is a recurring pattern of stages many heroes undergo over the course of their stories. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, articulated this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from a variety of time periods and regions of the world. He found that they all share fundamental principles. This spawned the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth. The most basic version has 12 steps, while more detailed versions can have up to 17.

Theseus has a complex story, and the example storyboard only looks at the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus' life story also follows the Hero's Journey structure from leaving his childhood home to becoming the heir of Aegeus. Consider assigning one Hero's Journey to each half of the class, or do the first Hero's Journey together and the second independently.


Hero's Journey of Theseus

STAGE SUMMARY
Ordinary World Theseus is the son of Aegeus, king of Athens.
Call to Adventure He learns that after a war with Crete, Athens must pay tribute to Minos in Crete by sending young Athenians to be devoured in the Labyrinth every nine years.
Refusal Theseus does not refuse the call. He volunteers to join the Athenian youths who are to go to Crete.
Mentor / Helper His father plays the role of a mentor who worries about Theseus. Aegeas makes him promise he will show his mission was successful by sailing home with white sails.
Crossing the Threshold Our hero leaves Athens and crosses the sea to the island of Crete.
Test / Allies / Enemies Ariadne falls in love with Theseus and decides to help him. At the suggestion of Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth, Ariadne provides him with a sword and spool of thread to find his way back through the Labyrinth.
Approach Theseus enters the Labyrinth. He must travel through the complex maze devised by Daedalus.
Ordeal Theseus battles with and slays the Minotaur. He uses the thread to make his way out of the Labyrinth.
Reward Theseus rescues the young Athenians and takes Ariadne on the boat bound for Greece.
Road Back The ship makes a stop at the island of Naxos, and Ariadne is left behind.
Atonement Atonement doesn't fit well with Theseus' story. If anything, this is the opposite of atonement. Theseus forgets to change the sail from black to white to show he had survived. In grief, his father commits suicide.
Return Theseus returns to Athens to find that his father has died. He is now the new king of Athens.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: The Hero's Journey

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Use the story of Theseus and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Depict and describe how the chosen character's story fits (or does not fit ) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.
  3. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.
  4. Save and submit storyboard to assignment.



Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Heroic Journey Rubric
Exemplary
20 Points
Proficient
17 Points
Commendable
13 Points
Try Again
10 Points
Content
  • Stages and steps of the hero's journey are exemplary and applied to the hero clearly, precisely, and correctly.
  • Knowledge and examples of the archetypal hero are evident.
  • Abundant examples are used to support claims.
  • Most stages and steps of the hero's journey are accurately applied to the hero.
  • Strong knowledge of the archetypal hero is apparent, and some traits, but not all, are applied.
  • Many examples are used to support claims.
  • Some stages and steps of the hero's journey are accurately applied to their hero.
  • Some knowledge of the archetypal hero is evident and has been applied, but is not sufficient.
  • Some examples are used to support claims.
  • Stages and steps of the hero's journey are inaccurately applied to their hero, or not enough stages are incorporated.
  • A little knowledge of the archetypal hero is evident.
  • Few to no examples are used to support claims.
  • Organization
  • Stages and steps of the hero's journey are in a logical order
  • Elements are clearly labeled
  • Images are used and convey the idea perfectly
  • Many stages and steps of the hero's journey are in proper order.
  • Most picture panels are accurately labeled.
  • Some images may not be clear or complete representations
  • Some stages or steps of the hero's journey are out of order.
  • Many panels have NOT been labeled with the appropriate element of the journey.
  • Images are missing, unclear, or require explanation.
  • Many stages and steps of the hero's journey are confused or completely out of order.
  • Storyboard pictures have not been labeled with the elements of the journey.
  • Few images are used, or storyboard is disorganized.
  • Visual Elements
    All pictures demonstrate effort, are attention-grabbing, and clearly communicate visually the corresponding element of the hero's journey.
    Many pictures show effort and clearly communicate how an element of the hero's journey is present in the story.
    Some pictures appear rushed, or are uninteresting. Connections to elements of the hero's journey are non-obvious, or unclear.
    Few pictures appear. The storyboard appears rushed, or unfinished. The connections and elements are very unclear.
    Conventions
    There are only minor errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage, if any.
    There are few errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage.
    There are many errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage.
    There are abundant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage that detract from the work.
    Creativity/Effort
    This Storyboard could be used as an exemplary model, and is one of the most outstanding projects produced.
    Creativity is evident, and the finished product is admirable.
    Creativity and effort are lacking. Extra help was needed.
    Creativity and effort are lacking. Extra help was needed.




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