Welcome to the Hero’s Journey!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL5 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.

Learning Target: I will analyze how an author unfolds a series of events, understanding the Hero’s Journey metastory and how modern stories fit into that framework.

Opening Session: STAR TREK! Where ma nerds at?

Work Session: After our video on Gilgamesh, we’re going to talk about the main focus of this unit – the Hero’s Journey.

Here are some diagrams that will show a bit about the journey – we’ll look at them together in class today and then use some examples.

Now that we have looked at these diagrams, I want you guys to make me an example. Choose a story you’ve read or watched recently, and figure out how it fits on the Hero’s Journey diagram. Draw the diagram on your paper, and write one sentence for each step of the hero quest.

Next up: The story! Just in case any of you guys are reading from home or ISS or something, here is a link to the full text of Gilgamesh. We’re reading excerpts from this text in our book – you want to search in the PDF for The Battle with Humbaba, The Death of Enkidu, The Story of the Flood, and The Return.

Epic of Gilgamesh, Translated by N.K. Sandars

And today we’re going to read the first two of those sections, plus the prologue. Afterward, we’re going to talk about the things that make Gilgamesh into an archetypal hero. What’s that? Archetype?


1.     A very typical example of a certain person or thing.

2.     An original that has been imitated.

After we finish reading the beginning of Gilgamesh today, you guys should finish your hero’s journey diagram to turn in, and that’s it today! Have a great weekend!


Closing Session: Ticket out the door! 3-2-1: 3 things you’re excited to learn this unit, 2 questions you have, and 1 fun thing you did over break

Differentiation: Learning style (visual, auditory); Interest (movie choice)

Assessment: Hero quest diagrams can be formatively checked for understanding.

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