Each year the middle school students get to vote for their reading theme in language arts. This year students voted to study a hero's journey. As a class, we will be exploring the literature structure of a hero's journey based on Joseph Campbell's twelve stages. To investigate these stages, students will be reading The Witches by Roald Dahl, Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
First-quarter students investigated the questions: what does it mean to be wicked, and why do people act heroically. To examine these questions, students read texts about people who acted heroically and people who misbehaved. Students determined that people behave heroically to help others, solve problems, face fears, and stand up for others. Likewise, students decided that wickedness is to refuse to help others, purposely harm others, dehumanize others, and create problems for others. Each student then wrote an essay about behaving heroically or wickedly.
Second-quarter students will investigate why society tells stories about heroes and how those stories apply to our journeys through life.