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 led to the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth.

Ordinary World Jason journeys to Iolkos. He loses a sandal when helping an old woman cross the river.
Call to Adventure Because of an oracle's prophesy to beware a stranger with one sandal, Pelias sends Jason on a perilous quest to fetch the Golden Fleece from Colchis, at the edge of the world.
Refusal The journey would be long and arduous. Luckily, Jason was supported by the gods. He had the Argo built, which included a prophetic timber from Zeus' sacred tree.
Mentor / Helper In addition to Athena and Hera, Jason is supported by Chiron before his journey, and accompanied by many famous heroes during his quest, including Hercules and the Boread twins, Calais and Zetes.
Crossing the Threshold The Argo sets sail for Colchis.
Test / Allies / Enemies The Argo makes several stops, during which Hercules stays behind to find the missing Hylas. On one stop, the Boreads drive off the harpies that are plaguing the blind seer Phineus. Phineus helps the Argonauts make it past the deadly clashing rocks.
Approach The Argo arrives in Colchis and Jason must perform great tasks in order to win the Golden Fleece. At the prodding of Athena and Hera, Aphrodite sends Eros to shoot Medea. She falls in love with Jason.
Ordeal Medea provides Jason with the means to yoke the bulls and the secret to fighting the dragon tooth warriors. She also gives him a way to get the guardian serpent of the tree to fall asleep.
Reward Jason claims the Golden Fleece! He also claims Medea as his bride.
Road Back Aietes, angry that he lost both the Golden Fleece and his daughter, chased after them. To avoid pursuit, Medea chops her brother into pieces and drops them into the sea. Aietes stops the chase to gather his son's remains. Zeus sends storms to blow them off course.
Atonement The Argo travels far, including being carried through the desert! The Argo itself suggests they travel to seek purification from Circe. Once there, Circe cleanses them of the murder of Medea's brother. The Argo is able to return safely to Iolkos.
Return Through the wiles of Medea, Pelias is killed by his own daughters. Jason and Medea leave to start their life in Corinth.

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 Jason and the Argonauts 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.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: The Hero's Journey

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] 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


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Heroic Journey Rubric
20 Points
17 Points
13 Points
Try Again
10 Points
  • 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.
    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.
    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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    Greek Mythology: Jason and the Argonauts

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