Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Preparing for the Journey: An Introduction to the Hero Myth

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Preparing for the Journey: An Introduction to the Hero Myth

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Scott Filkins

Scott Filkins

Champaign, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Through class discussion and reading picture books, students explore the literary concept of a hero and the elements of a hero's journey.  Unsing an online tool, students will identify the central elements of a hero's journey in a simple text. After analyzing the picture books and presenting their findings to the class, students are encouraged to embark on the study of a more substantial text.

back to top



  • The Hero's Journey: This interactive tool gives students the information they need to take a closer look at an epic hero or create a hero of their own.

back to top



In With Rigor For All: Teaching the Classics to Contemporary Students, Carol Jago notes that one of the roadblocks to cultivating genuine student response to challenging texts is students' lack of knowledge about story structure, and that teachers' "withholding information about how a story works may make it impossible for some students to have any response at all" (39). Jago goes on to observe that while some story structures, such as the pattern of the hero's journey, "may be so familiar to an English teacher that they hardly bear commenting on, this is not the case for many high school readers" and that "it is unrealistic to assume that ... they will figure out the structure themselves" (39-40). This lesson prepares students for a challenging text by providing multiple exposures to activities and texts that promote an understanding of the hero's journey structure.

Further Reading

Jago, Carol. 2000. With Rigor For All: Teaching the Classics to Contemporary Students. Portland, ME: Calendar Islands.


Jolley, Susan Arpajian. "In Search of a Hero, in Search of Self." English Journal 97.2 (November 2007): 23-28.

back to top