The true “hero” of this ancient Greek literature course is the logos, or word, of logical reasoning, as activated by Socratic dialogue. The logos of dialogue requires careful thinking, realized in close reading and reflective writing. The last “word” read in the course comes from Plato’s memories of the last days of Socrates. These memories depend on a thorough understanding of concepts of the hero in all their varieties throughout the history of Greek civilization and beyond. This course is driven by a sequence of dialogues that lead to such an understanding, guiding the attentive reader through some of the major works of the ancient Greek classics, from Homer to Plato.
Students read a variety of picture books that contain elements of the heroŐs journey and use an online interactive tool to analyze the stories.
Everyone knows that "Star Wars" character Darth Vader is a villain. This lesson asks students to explore how they know such things about heroes and villains they encounter in texts. After examining how moviemakers communicate the villainy of Darth Vader, students examine a passage from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone that describes the villain Voldemort, noting how Rowling communicates details about the character. Students then read novels in small groups, with each group member tracking a character in a reading log. When they finish their novels, students design posters and present details on their novels to the class. After the presentations, students make observations on how authors develop character and write journal entries reflecting on what they learned.
After reading The Odyssey and discussing the hero journey, students will move into this career research unit. First, students will choose a career that they are interested in exploring and researching. They will create a project/presentation to share the information about their career with their classmates. Then, they will choose a "hero" who made great strides in their chosen career as an inventor, business person, manufacturer, personality, etc. Students will review using MLA style in-text citations and works cited, paraphrasing and summarizing, and writing research as they write a research paper about their career hero.