Let’s All Go to the Movies!

Sure, we know that Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter are modern examples of the Hero’s Journey, but there are a l-o-t of other popular films that also fit Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. A few that may surprise you:

Whenever I teach Greek mythology and/or The Odyssey, my freshmen are assigned to connect modern movies to the Hero’s Journey pattern as one of our “into” activities. For years, I’ve offered my opening lecture (29 slides) for free over at TpT, and I just added a new note-taking grid to the download to help keep students organized. I used to present the slides as a traditional lecture, but lately I’ve flipped it, booking the computer lab and assigning kids to work through the material at their own pace. (More on that decision here.)

If you previously downloaded the Hero’s Journey Prezi, you’ll want to grab a fresh copy that now includes the student handout:

Also, the speech assignment that goes along with this was recently given a printer-friendly facelift and its own brainstorming organizer grid. If you already own the Hero’s Journey at the Movies speech materials (a paid product you can find here), revisit the purchase page in your TpT account to re-download the improved bundle at no extra charge. Updates to all of my items are always free.

Finally, all of this movie talk got me thinking about A Wrinkle in Time, yet another Hero’s Journey scheduled to open March 9. (Oprah seems to be a regular feature around here lately, eh?)

Teach on, everyone!

16 thoughts on “Let’s All Go to the Movies!

  1. meganmcrae727 says:

    This new handout is EVERYTHING!! Love it!

  2. Thanks, Meg! I thought this would be helpful. My kids up here in Idaho definitely needed a bit more structure when we worked through this last year. Enjoy!

  3. Jennie L Hanna says:

    I used to always do this lesson with sophomores and I’d use the movie Dodgeball as my example before allowing them to pick their own movie to give the Hero’s Journey treatment. Such a fun lesson and a great way to help them understand it.

  4. Are you going to put the updated handout in the Greek Mythology unit, too? I bought that but then, of course, didn’t buy the speech assignment separately.

    Thanks for everything you do!

  5. Thanks for the reminder to update the Greek Mythology bundle, too, AA! All of the new materials are now uploaded and available there, too. Just visit your “My Purchases” page and grab those fresh materials. 😉

  6. YES, Jennie!!! “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” Love it! 😀

  7. I was thinking about doing a hero’s journey take on Moana later this year. This is great. Thanks!

  8. Oh yeah, Jessica, Moana is a perfect fit. Your kids will love it! 🙂

  9. I’m not positive where you are getting your info, but great topic. I must spend some time learning much more or figuring out more. Thanks for fantastic info I was in search of this info for my mission.

  10. Thanks, Alex! Most of these film suggestions actually came from my students. They are a goldmine of info. 🙂

  11. Leigh Gray says:

    I’ve downloaded the prezi, but how do I open it?

  12. Mary Wyckoff says:

    Is there any way to print the Prezi? I bought the Greek Mythology Unit and would love to have a hard copy of the lecture.

  13. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your purchase and for checking in with me! Unfortunately, the resolution of the images on a full-sheet Prezi print-out becomes too pixelated to be useful. One workaround idea, though, is for you to take screenshots of the most salient slides and then you can print as many of those as you like to create the end-product you seek. It’ll take a few extra minutes but will hopefully be worth the effort. 🙂

  14. The new link for the Prezi doesn’t seem to have the video clips embedded. Am I doing something wrong?

  15. Hey, Heidi, it’s not you – it’s me. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of trouble with embedded video clips within Prezi files because of shifting postings from the third-party channels on YouTube that post those clips. When a copyright complaint is filed with YouTube, the clips disappear and then the embedded video links in my Prezi files are broken, causing lots of frustration for teachers trying to access the video clips and for me as I give myself vertigo trying to keep everything updated. As my collection has grown over the years, I can no longer keep pace with ensuring updated links, so I made the difficult decision to unplug any video elements that I cannot guarantee will work without fail. I am so sorry for any inconvenience and share in your disappointment.

    While less than ideal, you could still augment the slide deck with any YouTube video selections/movie trailers that you find and want to share with your classes. You’ll probably want to have those video clips loaded in a separate browser window that you then click/toggle between while lecturing. That’s my plan, anyway.

    Again, sorry for the change. I’m hopeful that, in time, you’ll still see great value in the core materials that remain. I’m going to do my best to continue to build tools to make my colleagues’ lives easier, but I am limited by time and copyright rules, too.

    Hope you’re well and having a great semester,

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