William C. Wagoner
This unit will compare and contrast the literature and nonfiction of heroes, both of mythology and history. It will first explore the link between myth and reality: What is the difference between myth and religion? How are such texts, which share so much in common, to be interpreted- as true, as false, or as metaphor? Using Joseph Campbell's theory of the monomyth as the primary reading strategy, the rich literature of any mythology can be analyzed side by side with a wide variety of non-fiction texts, which are emphasized so heavily in the Common Core. How does Theseus' adventure parallel that of Martin Luther King Jr.? In what ways is Gandhi akin to Hercules? The unit will culminate in a student-created, heroic adventure computer game using the text-based Inform programming engine. In this final assessment students will design, write, program, play, and put to the test their knowledge of myth, real life heroes, and the reality of a world full of metaphor and adventure.
(Developed for English Language Arts, grade 7; recommended for English and Social Studies, grades 6-8)