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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.

Don Quixote is an unlikely epic hero. Cervantes is very clever in using many of the elements of epic storytelling, but with a main character who is not heroic. Despite being delusional and generally incapable, Don Quixote’s journey does seem to escalate and follow predominant traits of Campbell's Heroic Journey.

A fun assignment for students is to ask them to depict which steps of the heroic journey match up with Cervantes' tale. Below is a completed example using six elements of the heroic journey. Remember to allow for interpretation when students are completing their own, as examples may vary in the number of steps included.

Don Quixote: An Unlikely Hero

Stage Summary
Ordinary world The story begins when the reader is introduced to Alonso Quijano, a middle aged man who enjoys reading books about knights and their deeds.
Call to Adventure After becoming so engrossed in these fantasies he changes his name to Don Quixote and decides to become a heroic knight-errant. With his nearly decrepit horse, Rocnante, and his ancient armor, he sets out in the name of his fair lady, Dulcinea; a peasant woman he’s never met.
Mentor/Helper After an unsuccessful first quest, he recruits, Sancho Panza, his faithful sidekick and squire!
Crossing the Threshold On his quest, Quixote attacks a windmill with a lance, thinking it’s a giant, his own delusions and his belief that he cannot return home until he’s done his knightly deeds emphasize this metaphoric threshold. The point of no return might have actually come when he came to believe that he was a true knight.
Test/Allies/Enemies A majority of Don Quixote’s tale deals with the other characters he meets along the way. Notable adventures include the funeral of the lovestruck student, the galley slaves, the unifying of two bereaved couples, and Don Quixote dream that he is battling a giant.
Return In the end, friends of Don Quixote’s come to bring Quixote and Sancho home. They inevitably have to drag him, with which Quixote complies only by believing his is under enchantment.
Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: The Hero's Journey



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 Don Quixote 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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