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

Percy Jackson has his own Hero’s Journey, just like the great heroes of old. He is, after all, a demigod born of Poseidon. Have students work together to discover the important events that fit into each category. This activity may be very challenging, so consider breaking up the Hero’s Journey components among groups of students, or working together as a class to identify them. There are different interpretations, depending on whether you focus on Percy’s main quest or his entire journey in his new world.

Example Hero's Journey for The Lightning Thief

Ordinary World Percy Jackson is a regular trouble-making kid with ADHD and dyslexia going to school for troubled kids in New York.
Call to Adventure Percy’s identity has been discovered and he is in danger from monster attacks. His mother and protector bring him to Camp Half-Blood, through a hurricane, with monsters on their heels.
Refusal Poseidon claims Percy as his son. Percy is suspected of being the thief who stole the master bolt. Percy resents being accused of something he didn’t do, but takes the quest to prove himself.
Mentor/Helpers Chiron advises Percy before he leaves. Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase go with Percy on his quest.
Cross Threshold Argus drops the three off at the bus station. They are now alone, with no protection from Camp Half-Blood.
Allies/Tests/Enemies The heroic trio undergo many trials and face many enemies on their journey from New York to Los Angeles.
Approach Percy, Annabeth, and Grover bribe Charon to take them to the Underworld, to retrieve the master bolt from Hades.
Ordeal The three heroes discover that Hades' own helm of darkness is missing, and the master bolt magically appeared inside the pack given by Ares! After escaping Hades’ wrath by using the pearls, Percy battles Ares on the beach.
Reward Percy is able to wound Ares in his heel. Ares refrains from killing him, but because Percy won, he wins the master bolt and the helm of darkness.
Road Back A son of Poseidon in the air is dangerous, but Percy flies in an airplane to get to Mount Olympus in time. Percy meets his father and Zeus for the first time.
Atonement Zeus considers whether or not to obliterate Percy. Percy returns the master bolt to Zeus and reports about the darkness in Tartarus that influenced Ares.
Return The three heroes return to Camp Half-Blood in triumph.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

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 The Lightning Thief 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.


(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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