Create Lesson Plans Based on Movies and Film
BIG — Teaching the Hero's Journey of Internal
Growth Through a Romantic Comedy
SUBJECTS — ELA: the Hero's Journey;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Self-esteem;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Caring.
This lesson can be used (1) to confirm and extend students' prior knowledge of the Hero's Journey or (2) as a summative assessment.
Age: 12+; Middle and High School Levels; MPAA Rating: PG; 1988; Romantic Comedy; 104 Minutes; Color.
Josh's quest to return to childhood fits the paradigm of "the Hero's Journey," also called "the Monomyth," a concept based on the discoveries of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. The stages and archetypes of the Journey are summarized in TWM's Stages and Archetypes of the Hero's Journey — Introducing the Monomyth.
TWM has also created a Hero's Journey Worksheet to help students identify the stages and archetypes in any story in which the protagonist successfully completes an important quest. This Lesson Plan provides notes on responses when the worksheet is applied to Josh's journey in "Big." The Lesson Plan also contains suggested assignments.
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Learning Guide ExcerptTo give you a sense of how TWM's Learning Guides can be used by teachers as lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Lesson Plan on Teaching the Hero's Journey Using Big. This paragraph describes the first stage of Josh's journey.
1. The Ordinary World: For Josh the Ordinary World consists of bike riding, being with his best friend Billy, tending to a little sister, being humiliated in front of the girl that he likes, and living with his family in a suburb of New York City. In short, childhood is Josh's Ordinary World. It is unsatisfactory for Josh, and therefore unstable, because he desperately wants to be bigger immediately without waiting for the experiences that will allow him to reach maturity.
The Lesson Plan also contains suggested assignments.
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