The Hero’s Journey – Winter Camp day 2

Day 1 Lesson here

Journey - Trials

For me, my winter camp finished today.  It was a four day mis-adventure, but my co-teacher was really pleased with how it went.  My version of “The Hero’s Journey” involved some discussions about what it means to be a hero, some examples of heroes and a lengthy (multiple day) dive into the ideas of “ordinary” and “special” which was suppose to culminate today with the students thinking about their own “special” and “ordinary” worlds and how they interact with them.

Unfortunately, after a break, my co-teacher got to talking about famous Korean actors and singers and why it matters that they are dating and why people are upset because they went on a date while the guy was suppose to be serving in the military and how famous people get special privileges and yada.. yada.. yada..  I am sincerely amazed he cares at all.  but we did get into an interesting discussion about whether or not your superiors should be punished for your mistakes.  Maybe a topic for “thursday nights“.

Because of this side-adventure, the students never came back after the break and my winter camp ended on a strange shrug and a vocal, “meh.”

I’m posting all the information today for the day 2 lesson.  This lesson goes over the parts of The Hero’s Journey dealing with “trials, approach, and Crisis”.  The climax, I suppose, of most hero stories (though not necessarily so.. I get sort of confused after this point, what exactly happens next or what is classified as what).  It’s a fun lesson that incorporates the idea of “daring” people to do stuff, good times.  It also has the potential to make students (and yourself) think about the trials in your own life.  The things you fear.  Joseph Campbell said, “The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure that you seek.”  It’s a potentionally profound idea to explore for students, if they are willing.  Many will not be.   This lesson needs to be fun however, as it is necessarily the “dark” portion of the hero’s story (at least for the movies and examples I picked out).  I don’t want the students sad or serious the whole time.

Lesson Plan

The Hero’s Journey – Day 2 Lesson plan


The hero’s journey – day 2 presentation worksheet

The Hero’s Journey – Day 2 maze practice

the hero’s journey – day 2 evaluation worksheet

2 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey – Winter Camp day 2

  1. That quote by Joseph Campbell is a great one. I love it! How did the students respond to that idea? I think it would be hard for some English-speaking students around their age to grasp it, without having to learn surrounding vocabulary and such.


  2. As I mentioned (in the first post I think), my camp was commandeered by my superiors, so I wasn’t able to do my full camp. I only had 40 minutes for 4 days. Not enough to do much. I did the warm-up from day 1 and then I spent the other days talking about “ordinary” and “special” worlds.

    I agree, the language is technical. I think of each of the categories as starting places, the key to understanding them is in the examples. Pictures, pictures and videos. Half of the lessons are devoted to listening or watching examples of the categories from movie pop culture.

    The only example I can give from my lessons is the idea of “threshold”. I taught the idea of the ordinary world of the hero, the special world and then I introduced the word “threshold”. I explained that it means something like “entrance” or “doorway” and gave a few examples in real life (the “threshold” of the classroom is the double doors). I asked the students to pay attention in the videos for the “threshold”, or, “the way the hero gets from the ordinary world to the special world”.

    I showed them Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and they got it perfectly each time (platform 9 3/4, the train to capital city).

    The next day I drew the circle with the line (ordinary, special, threshold) and asked them to label it, they had forgotten the name “threshold”, but they explained to me its purpose. And, personally, that’s all I care about. I don’t think “threshold” is an important word to know. And in the end, I am not really concerned if they don’t understand the idea perfectly. What I care about is if they are using English to convey ideas, even wrong ones.


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