Author:
Molly Berger, Vance Jennings, Lynne Olmos, Susan Smith
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Module
Level:
Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
Common Core Standards, Composition, ELA, High School, Literature, wa-ela
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English

The Hero's Journey: Is There a Hero in Me?

The Hero's Journey: Is There a Hero in Me?

Overview

This is a high school unit designed to teach students about the enduring qualities of heroism and how that influences today’s heroes, both in fiction and in reality. Once students understand the concepts, the unit provides teachers with a variety of activities to further strengthen student learning as well as make contemporary connections to the heroic ideal. This unit should take approximately 3-4 weeks.

Unit Overview: The Hero's Journey: Is There a Hero in Me?

Written by Vance Jennings, Lynee Olmos, and Susan Smith

This unit is one of a number of example units that follow the reader to writer process used by OER unit writes in Washington through OSPI. Please contribute to this draft by adding comments and suggestions for implementation.

  1. Pre Unit Work: Skill Review or Assessment*, Student Action Planning
  2. Introduction: Motivate, Inquire, Set Your Unit Goals
  3. Examine: Gather, Read, Discuss
  4. Evaluate: Synthesize, Analyze, Find Your Voice
  5. Express: Share Your Voice
  6. Reflect: Reflect on Your Learning, Determine Next Steps

 

* SBA Interim Assessments can be effective here.

Unit Overview:

The purpose of the unit is to teach students about the enduring qualities of heroism and how the idea influences today’s heroes, both in fiction and in reality. Once students understand the concepts, the unit provides teachers with a variety of activities to further strengthen student learning as well as make contemporary connections to the heroic ideal. This unit should take approximately 3-4 weeks.

 

Throughout the unit, students will be addressing these questions in various methods - in journal prompts, small group and whole group discussion:

  • What is a hero? What qualities does a hero have?
  • Who are heroes today? Who do we recognise as heroes? (personal, local, American, world)
  • Do heroes make good role models?

 

Standards:

Essential Understanding: Students will develop an understanding of the classical definition of a hero. Students will apply their learning to texts, both print and non-print, to determine the heroic qualities of the characters and/or people.

 

Taught and Measured:

  • Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama RL.11-12.3
  • Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact
  • Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem evaluating how  each version interprets the source text RL.11-12.7
  • Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how the interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis, provide an objective summary of the textRI.11-12.
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text RI.11-12.4
  • Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as words in order to address a question or solve a problem. RI.11-12.7
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. W.11-12.4
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. W.11-12.5le sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

 

 

Assessments (formative and summative):

  • Interim Assessment Block (SBA)
  • Process writing: argumentative, expository, narrative

 

 

 

Texts:

Required resources:

  • Excerpts from Beowulf  available on line or in anthologies such as  Holt Elements of Literature, Sixth Course: Essentials of British and World Literature 
  • Excerpts from Gilgamesh available on line or in anthologies such as  Holt Elements of Literature, Sixth Course
  • Ted-Ed Talk Matthew Winkler “What Makes a Hero”
  • “Vets use unconventional therapy to treat PTSD” Andrew Manzi
  • CNN Everyday Heroes

Pre Unit Work

Activity 1: Skill Assessment and Review

Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Block 1: Reading Literary Texts*

*NOTE: These assessment blocks are subject to change. Other assessments of similar challenge and rigor can achieve the same ends: 1) Determine individual student performance levels and learning gaps, and 2) Help establish specific learning goals for students and teachers.

Pre unit work is designed to give both you, the teacher, and the student an understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Using the Interim Assessments from the Smarter Balanced Assessment will allow you to monitor this with a consistent formative tool throughout the year. These are not meant to be graded. The assessments in the unit are to be used for grading, not the pre unit work. However, you may choose to do the student self-evaluation or reflection on it as part of their grade.

It is important that you set the tone for the pre work. It is meant to be a tool for both you and the student. You should note the strengths and weaknesses of the students so that you can adapt the unit to meet their needs. These may also help you to know if the student is in need of further intervention.

For this unit, “SBA Interim Assessment Block 1: Reading Literary Texts”  is recommended.

Technology required: administer SB IAB using district and building protocols.

Teachers unfamiliar with the SB IAB may need additional training and preparation prior to completing this assessment.  For example, students need computers that have the secure browser installed and teachers need access to the state testing website.  Please see your district or building Test Coordinator for specific information.

The Reading Literary Texts IAB is computer scored, so teachers will have access to score reports within a short period of time. Teachers can access individual student reports as well as class reports. Prior to next class period, teachers review student data and print individual reports.

After administering the IAB and receiving score reports, the move to the following whole class activity so students can self-evaluate and reflect.

Pre Unit Work

1. Follow your teachers instructions for taking the Interim Assessment

2: Reflection

Now we are going to take some time to examine our IAB scores, self-evaluate progress and reflect on our skills. Please take out a piece of paper. 

Please write the following on the top of the paper:

1. Your name and today’s date

2. IAB: Reading Literary Texts

3. This test is designed to show my ability to read literary texts with understanding and analyze elements within a text.

You receive your report from the pre unit assessment. Please think about the following prompts.  We will take about 10 minutes to reflect and respond to the remaining seven prompts.  (Teacher now displays prompts to students while distributing the score reports).

1. Describe your confidence and comfort while taking the test.

2. As you took the test, which parts seemed easy for you to complete? Why do you think so?

3. As you took the test, which parts seemed challenging for you to complete? Why do you think so?

4. In reviewing your results, what was as you expected it to be? Why?

5. In reviewing your results, what was a surprise? Why?

6. What does this tell you about you as a learner? How will you build on your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses through this unit?

7. How can your teacher support you in this journey of learning?

 

 

 

Introduction

Activity 2-Inquire: What Is a Hero?

Quickwrite  (10 minutes):  To frame this unit, have students give a brief written response to the following questions: “How do you define hero?”  “Do you think fame is an important component of heroism, or do you think most heroes are unknown?”  “Is there anyone you know personally whom you consider a hero?”

When students have completed their responses, ask them to share their ideas with the class. You may choose to start with pairs or triads and then whole class.

 

Technology integration option: You can use a real-time word cloud generator as a discussion focus. Prior to the quick write, create free account at Mentimeter https://www.mentimeter.com/ or a similar tool. Create a presentation with the prompt: List five words/phrases that describe a hero.  As students complete their quickwrite, project the presentation with prompt. As each student inputs his/her list, all students will see a real-time word cloud. This can provide another way of examining similarities in ideas without asking individual students to share.

 

Activity 2 -Inquire: What Is a Hero?

 

To prepare for our unit work, we are going to start with a quickwrite. A quickwrite is an activity to capture our initial thoughts and ideas about a subject or topic.  It is intended to give us some ideas before we begin talking about and exploring heroes.

On your paper or in your journal, respond to the following questions.  You will have 10 minutes. Write for the entire time.

“How do you define hero?” 

“Do you think fame is an important component of heroism, or do you think most heroes are unknown?” 

“Is there anyone you know personally whom you consider a hero?”

Introduction-What Do We Already Know?

Activity 3-Inquire: What do we already know?

This activity is to activate prior knowledge and generate ideas.

Begin with the Individual Brainstorm (5 minutes). Have students individually generate a list of heroes. The heroes can be ancient, new, real, comic, ordinary, or super.

Next move to the collaboration (10 minutes). In pairs or small groups, have students create a word (or concept) map that records their thoughts and ideas about their chosen heroes.

Technology integration option: Students can use MindMup, a free online mind mapping application to capture their ideas. Students can print, project, and/or save their work.  https://www.mindmup.com/

  

Activity 3-Inquire: What do we already know?

Before we begin learning about classic heroes, we are going to complete two activities: one individually and one with a partner. Then we are going to have the opportunity to hear from each other about the heroes they’ve brainstormed and organized.

Take out a piece of paper.  On this paper make a list of heroes that you already know about or are familiar with.  These heroes can be ancient, new, real, comic, ordinary, or super! We aren’t going to share our ideas yet. You will have 5 minutes for this.

Next, please turn to a partner and share your lists.  Then, on another sheet of paper, work together to organize your lists of heroes.  The categories to sort the heroes is up to you and your partner.  You will have 10 minutes for this.

Share your ideas with the class as your teacher directs.

Examine: Gather, Read, Discuss-Developing Common Vocabulary

Activity 4: Developing Common Vocabulary

Have the students view a Ted-Ed talk about the heroic journey; this allows students to create a common vocabulary and set of expectations for analyzing further texts in the module.  Plan to view the video with students at least twice. The first time, students will view for basic understanding and discussion. The second viewing can be more guided and targeted, allowing students to take appropriate notes. (Note: Because the information is so quickly presented, teachers may decide to view the video more than twice.)

KEY CONCEPT: Stages of the Hero’s Journey

Ordinary World/Status Quo

  1. Call to Adventure
  2. Assistance
  3. Departure
  4. Trials
  5. Approach
  6. Crisis
  7. Treasure
  8. Result
  9. Return
  10. New Life
  11. Resolution
  12. New Status Quo

[Recommended: Teachers are encouraged to read the transcript and/or view the video prior to sharing it with the class.  Closed captioning as well as the video transcript is available in 25 languages.]

Locate the Matthew Winkler Ted-Ed talk “What Makes a Hero.”

https://www.ted.com/talks/matthew_winkler_what_makes_a_hero/transcript

You can also create a free account with Ted-Ed in order to access additional learning activities related to the video. https://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-makes-a-hero-matthew-winkler#digdeeper

Possible after viewing question: How do the stories of heroes we mapped in the last activity fit with the hero’s journey in the video?

Student success criteria:

  • I can identify the stages of a heroic journey.
  • I can explain the stages of a heroic journey.

Possible formative assessments:

  1. Check students’ notes from video. Do they have all of the stages listed? If not, help them fill in missing stages before moving on.
  2. Ask students to hold up their hands with a fist (no understanding) to five (I can identify the stages of the heroic journey). Quickly scan classroom. If students do not have understanding of the stages, determine best re-teach (view video again, work in small groups to complete, pair-n-share to fill in gaps, e.g.).

Activity 4: Developing Common Vocabulary

We’ve brainstormed some elements of heroism and done some sorting and categorizing of heroes, but now let’s look at a definition and analysis of classic heroes. To do that, we are going to view a Ted-Ed talk about heroes and the heroic journey.

For this first viewing, you are not going to take formal notes. Instead, view for the ‘big’ ideas, the key points, and the evidence the speaker provides. Then we’ll view it again with a focus on taking notes.

https://www.ted.com/talks/matthew_winkler_what_makes_a_hero/transcript

Before you view, discuss as a class

1.  “What Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo Baggins might all have in common with the heroes of ancient myths?” What stories do these characters come from?

2. Next view the video. While you watch listen for ideas that answer the question, “What do these characters have in common with the heroes of ancient myths?” 

 -- Play video in its entirety (4:34) --

3. Now  go back to the original question: “What do Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo Baggins all have in common with the heroes of ancient myths?”  What do you think now?

4. Next, watch the video again, but this time take notes on the hero’s journey.  On your paper, draw a big circle.  Label it like a clock with a 12, 3, 6, 9 (12 at the top, 3 on the right, and so on).

As we view the video, listen for and write down the labels for each number (or step) along the journey.  You will be using information from this video in future assignments.

Examine: Gather, Read, Discuss

Activity 5Reading for Understanding

Texts:

Beowulf

  • You may use a text that you like and may use excerpts, but students need to understand the story arc.
  • One recommendation is the excerpted version from the Dr. David Breeden translation

Another is from the Holt Elements of Literature, Sixth Course: Essentials of British and World Literature

Copyright 2005 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Pages:

21 – 28 = excerpt of Beowulf, Translated by Burton Raffel

33 – 38 = excerpt of Beowulf, Translated by Seamus Heaney

Gilgamesh

  • Again, you may use a text that you like and may use excerpts, but students need to understand the story arc.
  • One recommendation is the excerpted version from the Herbert Mason translation
  • Another is from the Holt Elements of Literature, Sixth Course: Essentials of British and World Literature

       Copyright 2005 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston

48 – 53 = excerpt of Gilgamesh, Retold by Herbert Mason


Have the students read the excerpts from the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf and the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh. The purpose for reading is to ground students in the idea of what a hero is, the stages of the hero’s journey, and the heroic elements.

As the unit progresses, students will move through the various ideations of hero.  Beginning with two examples of the classic hero gives students a basis for understanding change.

Students will apply previous learning (characteristics of a hero and stages of the heroic journey), evaluate the characters in terms of what it means to be a hero, and compare the main characters (Beowulf and Gilgamesh).

Based on your knowledge of students, determine the most appropriate instructional method for reading the two excerpts (whole class, individual, small group, e.g.) Note that some amount of independent readying should be given along with student reflection on their process and understanding of the text.

Student success criteria:

  • I can identify and explain how textual evidence supports what the author states directly and what is implied. (RL11-12.1)
  • I can identify how specific words and phrases influence the meaning of a text. (RL11-12.4)
  • I can identify and explain how an author's choices about specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure, and meaning. (RL11-12.5)
  • I can bring together a variety of sources of information, such as print text and visual media, to address a question. (RI11-12.7)

Possible formative assessments:

  1. During reading, check for understanding via teacher questioning, pair-n-share, and so on as determined by the teacher. If students need additional comprehension instruction, review story and reading before moving on.
  2. After reading, use the focused questions for discussion or have students answer on paper. One formative assessment strategy may be to write each question on a large piece of paper and post around the room. Give each student a marker and have students move around the room in groups. At each poster, have the group discuss the question and write their answers. 
  3. Check students’ storyboards for accuracy and understanding. Do the students have the main points recorded? Can students identify stages of the heroic journey in their selected story?

Have the students read the excerpt from Beowulf and answer the following questions. You may choose to start reading as a class then move to partner or independent reading.

  1. Which stages of the heroic journey are evident in this excerpt?
  2. How does Beowulf demonstrate characteristics of a hero?
  3. What does Wiglaf’s speech to his companions waiting on the hill (lines 226 - 247) reveal about his character?

 

 

Activity 5Reading for Understanding

We are going to continue learning about classic heroes by reading excerpts from two classic stories: the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf and the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh. Our purpose for reading is to ground us in the idea of what a hero is, the stages of a hero’s journey, and heroic elements. We learned about the stages of a heroic journey and now we’re going to begin applying that learning to other stories or texts. As we progress through the unit, we will examine several different types of heroes looking for similarities across cultures and times.

Today’s reading is Beowulf.  While you’re reading, you need to have your work from the Ted-Ed talk “What Makes a Hero” so you can examine the stages of the heroic journey. 

After you’ve finished reading about Beowulf, answer these three questions about this selection.  When you first see  the questions, write down your own thoughts. Then turn to a partner to share your ideas.

  1. Which stages of the heroic journey are evident in this excerpt?
  2. How does Beowulf demonstrate characteristics of a hero?
  3. What does Wiglaf’s speech to his companions waiting on the hill (lines 226 - 247) reveal about his character?

 

Examine: Gather, Read, Discuss

Activity 6Reading for Understanding

Have the students read the excerpt from Gilgamesh and answer the following:

  1. Which stages of the heroic journey are evident in this excerpt?
  2. Using a Venn diagram, compare/contrast Gilgamesh with Enkidu.
  3. Evaluate Gilgamesh as a hero. What strengths and weaknesses does he have? How is Gilgamesh admirable or not?
  4. What kind of friend is Gilgamesh to Enkidu?

Activity 6: Reading for Understanding

You are going to continue learning about classic heroes by reading an excerpt from the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh. Our purpose for reading is to ground us in the idea of what a hero is, the stages of a hero’s journey and heroic elements.  While we’re reading, we need to have our work from the Ted-Ed talk “What Makes a Hero” and our work from the Beowulf  reading so we can examine the stages of the heroic journey. 

Now that you’ve finished reading about Gilgamesh, you’re going to respond to four prompts about this selection.  When you first see  the questions, write down your own thoughts. Then turn to a partner to share your ideas.

  1. Which stages of the heroic journey are evident in this excerpt?
  2. Using a Venn diagram, compare/contrast Gilgamesh with Enkidu.
  3. Evaluate Gilgamesh as a hero. What strengths and weaknesses does he have? How is Gilgamesh admirable or not?
  4. What kind of friend is Gilgamesh to Enkidu?

Examine: Gather, Read, Discuss

Activity 7: Storyboarding a hero’s journey

Students will create a visual representation of one of the two excerpts from Activities 5 & 6 to demonstrate their understanding of the stories.  They will analyze the chosen excerpt to determine:

  1. The important action of the story
  2. The heroic qualities demonstrated in that story
  3. Important dialogue included.
  4. Technology integration option: Use the free comicstrip maker makebeliefscomix to create the visual. The students will be limited to a maximum of nine frames. Students are not required to create an account. https://www.makebeliefscomix.com/chart

     

     

 

Activity 7: Storyboarding a hero’s journey

Now that we’ve read about two classic heroes, it’s your turn to create a visual representation of one of the two. This activity requires you to determine the important action of the story, the heroic qualities demonstrated, and important dialogue to include.

When you are finished, you will be sharing these with other students in the class, explaining the choices you made,  and “publishing” them to the classroom bulletin board.  This activity allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the stories. Additionally, you’ll be able to view others’ interpretations and understanding of the same text.

  1. Select one of the two stories for your focus.
  2. Review notes (stages of heroic journey, the reading, responses to questions and prompts)
  3. Gather needed supplies:
    1. Paper: fold your paper to create nine boxes (orient either landscape or portrait)
    2. Color pencils or markers
  4. Determine the nine important events to include
  5. Identify important dialogue (quotations) from the story to include
  6. Draw the story

Share and publish

Evaluate: Synthesize, Analyze, Find Your Own Voice

Activity 8Comparing Heroes

Compare the two heroes, Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Working with a partner or in a small group, discuss the following three questions. Then, on a large sheet of paper, record your group’s ideas. Be prepared to share with the whole class.

  1. What characteristics of a hero do both Beowulf and Gilgamesh share?
  2. How are the stories of Gilgamesh and Beowulf similar?
  3. Based on these excerpts, what characteristics can you infer about what the ancient Mesopotamians (Gilgamesh) Anglo-Saxons (Beowulf) valued?

Technology integration option: Rather than have students make a poster, teachers can instead have students record ideas electronically:

  1. Using mentimeter, students list similarities and watch the real-time word cloud record responses
  2. Using mindmup, students create a document that organizes and records similarities

Activity 8Comparing Heroes

Now you’ll compare the two heroes. Working with a partner or in a small group, discuss the following three questions. Then, on a large sheet of paper, record your group’s ideas. Be prepared to share your work with the whole class.

  1. What characteristics of a hero do both Beowulf and Gilgamesh share?
  2. How are the stories of Gilgamesh and Beowulf similar?

Based on these excerpts, what characteristics can you infer the ancient Mesopotamians (Gilgamesh) Anglo-Saxons (Beowulf) valued?

Evaluate: Synthesize, Analyze; Find Your Own Voice

Activity 9: Analyzing an interpretation

Texts:

Animated Epics: Beowulf. Youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKjcoFZmKuA (Run-time: 26:41)

The Epic of Gilgamesh. Youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8scf80TnbU (Run-time: 10:58)

Based on the teacher’s knowledge of students, class time, and schedules, students may view one or both videos. Referencing their hero’s journey notes from Activity 3, notes on the Ted-Ed talk, and their own storyboards, students will view interpretations of Beowulf and Gilgamesh for analysis. (These interpretations include more than the excerpt students read, so teachers may want to view both prior to introducing the the activity to the students.)

 

  • I can analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem evaluating how each version interprets the stages of the heroic journey RL.11-12.7

Activity 9: Analyzing an interpretation

In this activity, you will view an animated version of one of the stories we just read.  Your purpose is two-fold. You are viewing to identify the portions of the story you’ve read, and to analyze how the animated version has interpreted the stages of the heroic journey.

You’ll need the following resources:

  1. Your heroic journey notes from the Ted-Ed talk
  2. Your notes from the two readings
  3. Your storyboard

To get ready for this activity, take a moment to review your notes on the Ted-Ed talk and the two readings. Then scan your storyboard on the classroom bulletin board.

(Allow roughly five minutes for review. Then show the selection(s).)

Now, working with a partner, make a list of the parts of the video that were the same as what we have studied. Were elements of your storyboard included in the video?

Where were the stages of the heroic journey featured in the animated version?

Share your findings with another pair of students.

Evaluate: Synthesize, Analyze, Find YOur Own Voice

Activity 10: Analyzing and Synthesizing Everyday Heroes

For teacher: Prior to this activity, you will need to locate computers with internet and audio capabilities.  You will need to determine the best delivery based on technology capacity and knowledge of students.

You may want to ensure that students don’t all select the same hero stories by creating lists from which each group or student can select; however, this is not a requirement for success.

Activity progression is: activate prior learning through review, introduce the learning activity, whole class modeling, release to student directed learning and application, then return to whole class for closure.

Have the students read/view stories of people who have been selected for “CNN Heroes: Everyday people changing the world.”  While reading/viewing, have the students listen for elements of the classic heroic journey and take notes. After completing two or three (teacher will determine appropriate number) hero stories, they synthesize learning to answer the question: After looking at several different modern hero stories ask,  “How can we now define what it means to be a hero in today’s world?

Picture of CNN Heroes

 

Whole class modeling: Hero for whole class modeling: “Vets use unconventional therapy to treat PTSD”

Andrew Manzi https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/31/health/cnn-hero-andrew-manzi-warrior-surf/index.html

This includes a video and a written component, so teachers can select the appropriate delivery method.

Either show the video or distribute written copy.

 

Have the students view/read along with you. Model with a think aloud connecting the class brainstorming of characteristics of a hero and the stages of the heroic journey to Andrew Manzi’s work (note: everyday heroes are not classic heroes, they will not have all or even many of the stages. You should help students to see that there are connections regardless.) You may follow same delivery method as the Ted-Ed Talk -- telling students that they’ll view the video twice, watching once for overall meaning and the second time for details. See table below for one way of organizing information.

After completing the whole class modeling, check students’ understanding informally by checking charts and asking for a fist-to-five self-evaluation of their readiness to move to independent learning.

Teachers either create a handout for students to complete or have students take notes on their own paper.

 

Modern day heroes

 

Whole class model:

Andrew Manzi

Hero name:

Hero name:

Hero name:

Location

United States

 

 

 

Call to Adventure

enlisted in 2003

 

 

 

Assistance 

other soldiers, medics

 

 

 

Departure

 

 

 

 

Trials

people were injured, blown up, shot

 

 

 

Approach

 

 

 

 

Crisis

felt like he had no control, didn’t have any urge to be around other veterans

 

 

 

Treasure

 

 

 

 

Return

 

 

 

 

New Life

started surfing and teaching how to surf, started Warrior Surf for other veterans

 

 

 

Resolution

Warrior Surf focusing on the present and the future

 

 

 

New Status Quo

runs six week camps for veterans and their families; teaches how to surf

 

 

 

Monitor learning and student engagement through observation and informal assessment (asking questions, checking chart completion, for example).

Return to whole class: Students return attention to whole class. Teacher guides them to share out about heroes 1. Name; 2. General information; 3. One or two elements of classic heroic journey they noticed

 

Closure:

To bring lesson to closure, teacher asks students to again review chart. Students can respond as a silent journal write: After looking at several different modern hero stories, how can we now define what it means to be a hero in today’s world?

Technology Options:

Student directed learning:

Option 1: No accessible technology

Teacher selects and prints a variety of stories from the CNN website. Teacher makes copies to distribute to students.  In the classroom, teacher has students work in small groups to read and discuss the selected heroes.  Or, the teacher can use the station model and have different stories at each station. Students rotate through at pre-determined times to read, take notes, and discuss each hero’s story.

 

Teacher monitors learning and student engagement through observation and informal assessment (asking questions, checking chart completion, for example).

 

Option 2: Limited access to technology

Teacher organizes students into pairs (or groups of three, depending on number of computers available). Students navigate to the CNN website and select heroes. While viewing and reading, students take notes to complete the chart. Students also have opportunity to discuss while in small group.

Teacher monitors learning and student engagement through observation and informal assessment (asking questions, checking chart completion, for example).

Option 3: 1-to-1 devices or full class access to technology

Students navigate to the CNN website and select heroes. While viewing and reading, students take notes to complete the chart.

Student success criteria

  • I can bring together a variety of sources of information, such as print text and visual media, to address a question. (RI11-12.7)
  • I can apply my learning to new texts.

 

Possible formative assessments:

  1. Turn-and-talk. Students think of a solution or think of ways the person’s story fits the classic heroic journey then turn to a partner to share ideas before sharing out to the whole class.
  2. Fist-to-five (on the heart). Ask students to self-evaluate their readiness to move to independent learning and show via the number of fingers -- students hold hands up to their chests so that the teacher can see but the student doesn’t have to share assessment with entire class
  3. Teacher observation and questioning. Teacher moves through class as students are working and is able to observe when students may need assistance or correction.

 

 

Activity 10: Analyzing and Synthesizing Everyday Heroes

Today’s learning is focused on contemporary heroes.  You will have the opportunity to view clips and read about people who have been selected as being heroic. Before we begin, however, we need to review our brainstorming and learning so far. While learning about these people, consider the heroic journey and how that journey looks for each person.

Begin with your teacher and class as a whole group and look at one example before you take over.

Revisit Activities 1-3 (initial brainstorming, organizing information about heroic qualities, and the heroic journey stages). The day’s learning will require you to apply your understanding of what a hero is and the classical definition of a heroic journey to people today. Based on the options below, your teacher may model the learning activity in a variety of ways - paper/pencil to showing how to navigate to the videos – you will follow along.

Evaluate: Synthesize, Analyze, Find YOur Own Voice

Activity 11: Finding What You Think

Prior to this activity, read the two options to determine appropriate strategy for students.

“Superheroes: Are They Really Heroes?”  https://the-artifice.com/superheroes-are-they-really-heroes/

“The Problem With Heroes” https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-problem-of-heroes-hesaid/

 

Option 1: Discussion stations around the room (small group discussion).

To prepare: Teacher prints each statement on a piece of paper and tapes it to poster paper so there’s enough room for students to write on the paper. Teachers will need a timer to track time at each station and sets of markers for students to use.

Process:  Divide the class into five groups (or fewer groups if the class is small) and give each group a set of markers -- it works great if each group is a different color. Direct students to one station -- home station -- for a discussion (they will rotate through the stations). At the first station they will discuss what the statement means to them, whether or not they agree, and how it relates to the idea of the heroic journey and definition of hero.  They will write their ideas on the paper. When directed by the teacher (4-7 minutes), they will move to the next station. Again beginning with a short discussion of what the statement means and whether or not they agree, the students will then read what other groups wrote, they will then add their own ideas - agree, disagree, confirm, expand, provide examples, and so on. By the end of four rotations, the students will have discussed each statement and had the opportunity to add to other groups’ discussions.  The last rotation has the group return to their home station. This provides some closure as they can not only see their comments but how other groups responded.

Option 2: Agree/Disagree

To prepare:  Teacher creates signage for Agree and Disagree and posts them in opposite corners of the classroom

Process: Teacher reads (or displays) statement and students move to one of two corners depending on whether or not they agree  or disagree with the statement. Students have discussion within group. Teacher can moderate discussion between two groups to share ideas and rationales.  Teacher may have students return to middle of classroom - neutral ground - before reading/displaying the next statement.

 

Statements: from “Superheroes: Are they Really Heroes?” and “The Problem With Heroes”

When asked to describe traits of a hero, the number one response by people today (2010) was that a hero “provid[es] a standard of conduct… he/she is a role model.”

 “Representing the ideal self-image, shows achievement or accomplishment, being intelligent, loving and religious” is how many people describe today’s heroes.

“...contemporary society has often misconstrued and overused the term hero..., applying it to people who do not have the moral fibre” to be considered a hero.

“When we have heroes, we look up to them. This is all well and good, but the problem is — in a subtle, sneaky way — simultaneous to looking up, we’re putting ourselves down.” 

It’s important to “recognize that the values we’re admiring are not confined only to the hero, but can be spread and shared. And time to stop being bashful about having a hero, because all that really means is we’re bashful about embodying the hero’s values.”

Student success criteria:

  • I can explain my thinking
  • I can work collaboratively with my peers to complete a task

Activity 11: Finding What You Think

You are going to examine the following statements about heroes.  You will have the opportunity to discuss your understanding of statement, how they connect with what you have read, and if you agree or disagree.

Follow your teacher’s instructions for the discussion process.

Statements: from “Superheroes: Are they Really Heroes?” and “The Problem With Heroes”

1. When asked to describe traits of a hero, the number one response by people today (2010) was that a hero “provid[es] a standard of conduct… he/she is a role model.”

2.  “Representing the ideal self-image, shows achievement or accomplishment, being intelligent, loving and religious” is how many people describe today’s heroes.

3. “...contemporary society has often misconstrued and overused the term hero..., applying it to people who do not have the moral fibre” to be considered a hero.

4. “When we have heroes, we look up to them. This is all well and good, but the problem is — in a subtle, sneaky way — simultaneous to looking up, we’re putting ourselves down.” 

5. It’s important to “recognize that the values we’re admiring are not confined only to the hero, but can be spread and shared. And time to stop being bashful about having a hero, because all that really means is we’re bashful about embodying the hero’s values.”

Express: Share Your Voice

Activity 12: Sharing Your Voice

Option 1: An Original Hero's Journey

After the completion of the module activities, it is time for students to use the knowledge they have gained to create products that demonstrate their understanding and their skills. The teacher can choose to assign one or more of the tasks depending on the time allowed as well as student needs and interests.

For these tasks, we go back to the initial questions posed at the beginning of the module:

  • What is a hero? What qualities does a hero have?
  • Who are heroes today? Who do we recognize as heroes? [personal, local, American, world)
  • Do heroes make good role models?

With these questions and the stories and concepts studied throughout the module students are asked to go beyond the texts and videos to create their own response.

The three task assessments span three different modes of writing--narrative, argumentative, and explanatory, allowing for flexibility for the teacher. Teachers will plan their units for the entire course to span all of the required skills, and this unit offers a selection for each mode.

Narrative: An Original Hero’s Journey

Students choose and audience and craft a story based on a real person, such as an historical figure, a person they know, or even themselves. Using the classic concept of the stages of the hero’s journey, they create an original narrative.

Argumentative: Do We Need Heroes?

Students pick an audience to convince and establish a claim that either supports the need for heroes as role models or argues that we should rely on the inspiration of heroes less than we do.

Explanatory: Hero of the Year

Students choose and audience and select a real hero to nominate for Hero of the Year. They gather and present detailed information to support their nominee’s selection for the honor.

Supporting the Summative Assessment

If students need additional support during the writing process, the teacher can plan for additional time to scaffold the lesson with guided planning and modeling.

Scoring the Performance Tasks

For these tasks, teachers should use the rubrics provided by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. You can find rubrics and scoring guides with their practice tests and resources:

http://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/practice-and-training-tests/resources-and-documentation/

 

Teachers should provide students with copies of the scoring rubrics and use the rubrics throughout the process of drafting and revision. With support, students should be able to predict their own scores based on the information in the rubrics, giving them opportunities to revise, based on peer editing and their own observations.

 

Option 1: An Original Hero’s Journey

Explain to the students that today we will begin creating a narrative. Before we begin, review what we already know of the hero’s journey that we have studied both in classic literature and in the stories of modern heroes. At the beginning of the module, we asked ourselves some questions. Let’s review. (Lead a discussion about these questions. It can be in depth, with notes and suggestions for each. Alternatively, it can be a quick review of learning, if that is what is needed. A teacher’s knowledge of the students can inform the amount of support and review needed.)

 

  • What is a hero? What qualities does a hero have?
  • Who are heroes today? Who do we recognise as heroes? [personal, local, American, world)
  • Do heroes make good role models?

 

Now let’s add one more question. Consider your own journey. Have you been on a hero’s journey? Imagine that your life is a hero’s journey.  If so, what stage are you in? Take a moment to plot out your journey so far through the stages. (This can be an informal discussion, or the teacher could provide handouts with a the stages provided, leaving space for the students to describe each element of their own journey.)

 

Stages of the Hero’s Journey

Ordinary World/Satus Quo

Call to Adventure

Assistance

Departure

Trials

Approach

Crisis

Treasure

Result

Return

New Life

Resolution

New Status Quo

 

You are about to write a narrative. That means that you will be writing the story of a hero’s journey. This story will be your original creation, but its plot will follow the classic stages of the hero’s journey. You are required to choose a real life hero on whom you will base the narrative. You can choose to write about yourself, crafting an inspirational story about your own personal journey. Alternatively, you can choose another person to research. Whichever you choose, your target audience will be young readers who need an inspirational hero. Follow the instructions I will give you. We will check in after each stage of writing: prewriting, the initial draft, revision, editing, and final publication. If you need assistance at any time, I will be here to guide you and answer any questions.(Hand out the Student Instructions for An Original Hero’s Journey.)

Activity 12 Sharing YOur Vocie

Option 1: An Original Hero’s Journey

About narrative writing: Writing a narrative requires you to use clear and specific details about well-developed character(s) and at least one well-defined setting. A good narrative has an effective plot with a logical sequence of events, including a clear beginning, middle and end. When writing a narrative, choose the most effective point of view for your story – first person, third person omniscient, or third-person limited – and sustain that point of view throughout.

Topic: For this narrative writing task, you will be writing an original hero’s journey. Using what you have learned of the stages of a hero’s journey, create a character, based on yourself or someone else, and write a narrative account of his or her journey. You can use biographical information about a real person, following their life story as they go through the stages. Or, you can look at your own life as a hero’s journey and create your own legend in a narrative format.

Audience: For this task, imagine that your audience is young students in junior high or middle school. Your task is to create an easy to follow hero’s journey story about someone worth admiring. This could be your own story, where you show that you have overcome obstacles, persevered, and learned significant lessons along the way. Alternatively, it could be the story of an historical figure, showing how they faced challenges and completed their heroic journey.

Use what you have learned about heroes, the hero’s journey, and heroism itself within your writing.

Process:

·     Consider your audience. What will they expect? How can you capture and maintain their interest? What is a good message for this audience?

·     Gather your ideas. Choose your hero. Find specific details about the hero and gather facts.

·     Organize and establish an outline. Arrange your facts chronologically and align them to a hero’s journey cycle.

·     Write a first draft. Keep in mind that you will need a clear beginning, middle, and end, write out the story. Remember to use specific details to clarify your setting and develop your characters.

·     Review your writing. Share your first draft with others. Get feedback on what you can do to clarify the action or add detail. Is it appropriate for your audience? What’s missing? What are the strengths of your story?

·     Revise, edit, and publish. Make any necessary revisions, based on feedback. Edit your writing for conventions, such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other errors.

 

Sharing Your Voice Option 2: Do We Need Heroes?

Option 2: Do We Need Heroes?

Today we will begin creating an argumentative performance task. Before we begin the writing process, let’s discuss what we have learned about heroes.

Let’s examine these questions:

Is our society obsessed with heroes?

What is the effect of heroes on the entertainment industry?

Is hero worship a good thing? In what way?

Can it be bad?

Let’s list as many modern heroes as we can. They can be real people, or they can be from books, movies, video games, comics, etc. (The teacher can refer back to the mindmaps created earlier in the module. New lists can be created informally. Spend time talking about individual heroes. Are they beneficial? Do they set a good example? Why do people admire them?)

Now, thinking about these heroes, form an opinion. Do we need them? Write down your initial response to that question - Do we need heroes? (Pause) Now, ask yourself why. We have studied heroes throughout the module. Humans have been telling stories about heroes since long before they could write those stories down. Why? (Give students time to think about and react to each question.) Now that you have thought about it, is it beneficial to us to have heroes? Does it somehow keep us from solving our own problems? Or, does it inspire us? (Let the students have some time to think about these questions and discuss them together.)

You are about to write a argumentative essay. That means that you must form a clear opinion about the topic. Pick a side. Do we need heroes? Once you have chosen which side of the issue to support, you must develop a strong claim. That means that you need to create a statement that gives your strong opinion about the need for heroes in our society.

Once you have your claim established, gather evidence to support your ideas. You have some sources that you have read or viewed throughout this module. You can use them as evidence. Additionally, you can research your claim. Look for reliable sources that address heroes in our modern culture. If you need help determining the quality or reliability of a web resource, please ask for assistance. Whenever you use research materials, be sure to credit them appropriately in your writing. Ask me for assistance, if you are uncertain about how to reference your sources.

Whatever side you choose, remember to address counterclaims, as well. If you were on the other side of the debate, what would be your best argument? Acknowledge the other side and give specific evidence that addresses their claims. Remember to always use a respectful tone when writing an argument. A good argument is won on evidence and persuasion.

Follow the instructions I will give you. We will check in after each stage of writing: research, prewriting, the initial draft, revision, editing, and final publication. If you need assistance at any time, I will be here to guide you and answer any questions. (Hand out the Student Instructions for Do We Need Heroes?)

Activity 12 Option2: Do We Need Heroes?

About argumentative writing: Writing an argument requires you to take a stand on an issue. It doesn’t have to be a heated debate, but rather is a position that has opposing viewpoints. A good argument has a clear claim that is established early and sustained throughout. What is your stance on the topic? To be effective, your argument must use specific and relevant evidence from well-chosen sources. Always acknowledge opposing

viewpoints/counterclaims and conclude your argument in a way that ensures your audience is aware of your strong claim/position.

Topic: Throughout this module, you have studied heroes. Our culture seems obsessed with heroes, in literature, in movies, and in the news. Is that obsession healthy? Does our “hero worship” help us? In your opinion, do we need heroes? Think about the benefits of hero figures in literature, entertainment, and real life. Develop a specific claim that either supports our need for heroes or argues that we do not need them, and perhaps rely on them too much.

Audience: Choose an audience for your writing. It can be your peers, to convince them they need the inspiration of hero figures, or to tell them to stop relying on heroes for their entertainment and example. Alternatively, you could write an argument aimed at the entertainment industry, encouraging them to make more films based on heroes, or fewer, depending on your claim. Can you think of another possible audience for your argument?

Process:

·     Consider your audience. What do you think their current opinion might be? How can you convince them to agree with your claim? Maintain a respectful tone in your writing, keeping your audience in mind.

·     Gather your ideas. Use the resources you have read in this module. You can also do your own research to support your claim. Remember to research the arguments against your claim. You should be prepared to address counterclaims in your argument.

·     Organize and establish an outline. Plan for a clear introduction of the topic and your claim. Make sure your body paragraphs are organized with specific reasons backed up by detailed evidence from your sources. Finish up with a conclusion that firmly restates your position.

·     Write a first draft. Put it all together and make sure you use transitions to help your writing flow from paragraph to paragraph. Build your argument in a logical order. Do you choose your best argument to go write after the introduction, or do you want to end with it? Make intentional choices for your writing.

·     Review your writing. Share your first draft with others. Get feedback on what you can do to clarify your position or add evidence. Did you address any counterclaims? Is it appropriate for your audience? What’s missing? What are the strengths of your essay?

·     Revise, edit, and publish. Make any necessary revisions, based on feedback. Edit your writing for conventions, such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other errors.

Sharing Your Voice Option 3: Hero of the Year

Activity 12 Option 3: Hero of the Year

About Explanatory Writing: Writing an explanatory essay requires you to gather and use specific details to explain your ideas, using relevant facts and sources. Good explanatory writing has a clear organizational structure, staying focused with a strong introduction, consistent and varied transitions, and an effective conclusion. You need to use specific and detailed elaboration from well-chosen sources. Take time to select vocabulary that is appropriate for your topic and audience. The best explanatory writing engages the reader with style and interesting word choice.

Topic: For this essay, you will think about the heroes you have studied. What is a hero? What does it mean to truly be heroic? Your task is to nominate someone for the Hero of the Year. You can choose anyone that you think deserves such an honor, such as a celebrity, an athlete, a political figure, a firefighter – anyone you think fits the definition of hero. It can even be someone you know personally. Once you have chosen a subject, you need to gather your evidence. You can use sources from the module, but you will need to use specific evidence about your selected hero, as well. You will need to show how your subject deserves the honor of Hero of the Year.

Audience:The audience for this essay is an imagined selection committee. Imagine that your essay will be read by a committee that selects the Hero of the Year. They should be people with a lot of influence, including past recipients of the award.

Process:

·     Consider your audience. Select and deliver your information about your nominee in a way that will impress the committee. It isn’t an argumentative essay. You don’t have to state a claim and argue your position. Your job is to demonstrate the worthiness of the candidate with detailed and specific evidence.

·     Gather your ideas. How is your nominee heroic? What evidence do you have of this? Think about the heroes you have studied. What made them great heroes? Can you compare your hero to them? Use sources from the module and that you find through research about your nominee.

·     Organize and establish an outline. Plan for a clear introduction of the topic and your nominee. Make sure your body paragraphs are organized with specific and detailed evidence from your sources. Finish up with a conclusion that wraps it up explains concisely why you have chosen your nominee. 

·     Write a first draft. Put it all together and make sure you use transitions to help your writing flow from paragraph to paragraph. Engage your readers in the story of your hero. Are you being specific enough to help them truly imagine your hero and his or her great attributes?

·     Review your writing. Share your first draft with others. Get feedback about your nominee. Did you give enough detail? Is it clear and organized? What’s missing? What are the strengths of your essay?

·     Revise, edit, and publish. Make any necessary revisions, based on feedback. Edit your writing for conventions, such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other errors.

Option 3: Hero of the Year

Today we will begin creating an explanatory performance task. To prepare for this, let’s revisit our definition of a hero. In your opinion, what does it take to be a hero? (Take time to listen to and record student responses.) Let’s list some of the qualities a hero has. (Have students individually list qualities or create a list together.) Looking at the list, think of someone who exhibits these qualities. This should be a real person. Although, it can be a celebrity, an athlete, a soldier, or any other famous person, it should not be a fictional character. By contrast, you could choose a friend or family member. Heroes do not have to be famous. Think of someone who is alive today who should be considered a hero, according to your definition.

For the upcoming writing task, you will be imagining that there is an award for the Hero of the Year. You will be nominating your chosen real-life hero for the award. To successfully write in support of your hero, you will need a great deal of specific detail and evidence of their heroism. Think about the real-life hero that you admire; consider all the traits and accomplishments that make him or her heroic. Take time now to brainstorm some specific reasons to give your nominee the award for Hero of the Year. (Have students brainstorm a list and discuss their ideas with their peers.)

You are about to write a explanatory performance task. That means you need to research your topic thoroughly. You will need reliable and authoritative sources. For famous people, you will use web resources to gather important details and anecdotes. For people you know personally, you may need to interview them or other people to get your information. Whichever route you choose, be sure to credit your sources in your writing. If you need assistance when it comes to citing your sources when you write, ask me. You should never  use research without properly identifying your sources.

Follow the instructions I will give you. We will check in after each stage of writing: research, prewriting, the initial draft, revision, editing, and final publication. If you need assistance at any time, I will be here to guide you and answer any questions. (Hand out the Student Instructions for Hero of the Year.)

Reflection

Activity 13: A Return to the Beginning

At the end of the unit or when the writing tasks have been graded and returned, select from the following ideas for student reflection.

1. Re-administer SB IAB:  Reading Literary Texts using district and building protocols. By re-administering the interim assessment allows teachers and students to measure their growth in reading and comprehending literary texts. Teachers can access individual student reports as well as class reports. Prior to next class period, teachers review student data and print individual reports.

 

For teachers: Prior to distributing the students’ second IAB score, have them take out the original score sheet and their answers to the following questions.

 

In terms of my reading and writing:

“Where am I now?”

“Where do I want to be?”

“How will I close the gap?”

Return the test results to the students. Have them respond to these questions.

1. Describe your confidence and comfort while taking the test. Has your confidence grown?

2. Which parts of the test seemed the most easiest for you? Is this the same as the last time you took the test? Why do you think so?

3. Which parts of the test seemed the most challenging for you? Is this the same as the last time you took the test? Why do you think so?

4. Review your results. Were the results what you expected? Were you surprised by anything? Explain.

5. Think of this unit as a journey of learning. It’s part of your journey as a learner, and you are the hero of this story. So, with that in mind, describe how you have improved your skills as a learner. What lessons and activities stand out to you?

6. Describe the assistance you received on your journey of learning.

 

2. Have students brainstorm their heroic journey as a learner. For example, this student has filled in some elements

 

My learning journey

Location

_________ High school Classroom

Call to Adventure

Be the first in my family to earn a HS diploma; finish high school

Assistance 

My teacher, classmates, librarian, my coach

Departure

 

Trials

Didn’t pass state assessment,

Approach

 

Crisis

Considered dropping out; wanted to quit

Treasure

 

Return

Am attending classes

New Life

Taking this class to earn credit and meet state graduation requirement

Resolution

I will not give up

New Status Quo

I can do this; my skills are getting better and I am confident in my ability to be successful

 

End of unit: personal journey

 

My learning journey

Location

 

Call to Adventure

 

Assistance 

 

Departure

 

Trials

 

Approach

 

Crisis

 

Treasure

 

Return

 

New Life

 

Resolution

 

New Status Quo

 

 

3. Have the students respond to the following questions

  1. What worked well for you in completing this unit?
  2. What did not work well or was a struggle?
  3. Considering this, what will you do or change in the next unit to help in your learning?

 

 

 

 

 

Activity 13: Reflection

Follow your teacher's instructions for reflection. Take time to consider what went well in your learning and what you would like to do better or differently.