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The Wizard of Oz
TEACHING THE HERO'S JOURNEY AND ITS ARCHETYPES
THROUGH A CHILDREN'S CLASSIC
Dorothy's quest to save Toto and return home 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 Dorothy's journey. The Lesson Plan also contains suggested assignments.
This lesson can be used (1) to confirm and extend students' prior knowledge of the Monomyth or (2) as a summative assessment.
Ages: 11 - 13; Middle School level;
Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will describe the stages and archetypes of the Hero's Journey in a story in which the heroine attains personal growth while on her quest. In addition, by completing one or more of the suggested assignments students will employ and perfect the writing skills required by ELA curriculum standards.
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 perennially popular film. The Monomyth is worth studying because it is a basic paradigm of human experience that is frequently used in written stories, drama, and film. Viewing stories involving successful quests 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 Monomyth, students will be better prepared to identify protagonist, antagonist, conflict, theme, and symbol.
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The Wizard of Oz is an American classic.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below one of the discussion questions from TWM's Lesson Plan on The Wizard of Oz — Teaching the Hero's Journey and Its Archetypes Through a Children's Classic.
1. The Ordinary World: — As the movie opens, Dorothy's world is the Kansas farm on which she lives with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. This world is bleak and run down; Auntie Em and Uncle Henry must work hard to keep the farm going. Kansas is shown in the movie using black-and-white film in contrast to the colorful world of Oz. Dorothy's guardians and the farmhands are kind and loving but Dorothy longs for an exciting, colorful world "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." This introduces an element of instability into the Ordinary World of the Kansas farm.
TWM's lesson plan The Wizard of Oz - Teaching the Hero's Journey and Its Archetypes Through a Childrens Classic gives a different take on this perennially popular film.
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