Create Lesson Plans Based on Movies and Film
"Fly Away Home" — Teaching Two Hero's Journeys,
One of Internal Growth and the Other of Environmental
Achievement, in a Popular Film With a Young Heroine
This lesson can be used to: (1) introduce the concept of the Hero's Journey; (2) confirm and extend students' prior knowledge of the Hero's Journey or (3) serve as a summative assessment.
In "Fly Away Home", Amy undertakes two important quests. The first is to successfully pass through paralyzing grief arising from her mother's untimely death. She accomplishes this, in part, through her second quest, a mission in which she and her father work together to teach her orphaned geese how to migrate from north to south and then to return. Both of these quests fit 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 Amy's journey in "Fly Away Home." The Lesson Plan also contains suggested assignments.
Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will describe the stages and archetypes of the Hero's Journey manifested in a popular film describing a quest for personal growth in a child close to their own age. In addition, by completing one or more of the suggested assignments students will employ and perfect the writing skills required by ELA curriculum standards.
Studying this movie will also provide students with a healthy model for dealing with grief when they suffer a tragic loss. See the main Learning Guide to "Fly Away Home".
Rationale: Stories told on screens are the literature of today's youth. Students will have an extra quantum of interest in applying the concept of the Hero's Journey and performing related ELA assignments with respect to a popular film about a young person near to their age. The Hero's Journey is a basic paradigm of human experience that is frequently used in written stories, drama, and film. Viewing stories involving a successful and important quest in different contexts will expand and deepen students' understanding of the role of the Hero's Journey in fiction and in life. By understanding the elements of the Journey, students will be better prepared to identify protagonist, antagonist, conflict, theme, and symbol.
It is beneficial to provide students with healthy models for dealing with challenges that they will eventually face, such as grieving for a loved one.
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Students will benefit from comparing the two Hero's Journeys undertaken by Amy in Fly Away Home.
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Learning Guide ExcerptTo give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers as lesson plans and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below a paragraph from the Lesson Plan on Teaching the Hero's Journey Using Fly Away Home.
1. The Ordinary World — In this story, Amy's Ordinary World is the largely unseen life of a normal young girl living happily with her mother. The Hero's Journey of Amy's quest, in partnership with her father, to teach the geese to migrate has an Ordinary World of the geese orphaned and living on her father's property.
The Lesson Plan for Teaching the Hero's Journey and Its Archetypes Through Fly Away Home also contains suggested assignments to focus students on the skills needed to satisfy ELA curriculum requirements.
A subscription to TeachWithMovies.com will give teachers access to 350 Learning Guides and lesson plans.Click here to subscribe and use Fly Away Home to teach the Hero's Journey and introduce students to the Monomyth.