This is part of my Road of Trials series in which I am chronicling my effort to plan a Hero’s Journey based Lesson in my 11th Grade HIS202: American History from 1877 to the Present. Click Here to see Part 1
Just a quick refresher into the Monomyth:
A CALL TO ADVENTURE
The Hero’s Journey starts with call to adventure or a hook activity. It is the moment where our naive and seemingly ordinary protagonist finds that there is something… more, something bigger than their (to that point) dull existence. A Pop Culture example of this is Obi-Wan Kenobi asking Luke to join him on the mission to Alderaan. Fortnite also does a great job of this in the video game realm. Each “season” as a short narrative in the form of a “live event” that explains the reason for that season’s theme. Chapter 2 Season 5 was transitioning from a Marvel theme where the big bad Galactus was trying to devour the Fortnite Island into a theme where the players have to protect the “Zero Point”. In the live event Galactus was sucking the zero point energy out of the island and after his inevitable defeat it formed into a globual of energy at the center of the map. The “mentor” character Agent Jonesy called on the players to protect the zero point energy in the Battle Royale. It doesn’t make a ton of sense as far as a storyline but provides some internal game logic for the group of warrior skins that were introduced as well as the actions of the players during the game.
Lesson Plan Call to Adventure
My initial plan is to have several “paths” or calls to adventure that students can choose to either ignore or listen to. These Hero’s Journeys will be “deep dives” into a Historical Theme. For this chronical I am choosing to plan out a Quest centered around Civil Rights from the Gilded Age to the Modern Era. Our hero will receive a call in the form of an E-Mail from a mysterious stranger. This is unfortunately quite easy to do with Gmail as I have several “catfish” accounts set up from past year narratives (if they still work…). The stranger will provide a “McGuffin”, an object that the hero must search for on the quest, in the form of a missing artifact that holds great “Primary Source Power”. If the student chooses to accept this call to adventure they will reply to a link in the email that will send them to a Google Slide or Site that will begin the quest.
Since IRL security protocol teaches kids not to click on links that come from mysterious or unknown users I will of course have to let them in on the narrative device by including my name in the email. Students that ask will be given a bit of an affirmation from me.
Fitting this into the Class Theme
Right now we have a “Superhero” theme but over the last couple of months this theme has not been advanced for various reasons. When I introduced the theme in the first few weeks a “mysterious stranger” caused an explosion by chanting an incantation near the Declaration of Independence while the students were on a Field Trip. This gave the students their “superpowers”. The hybrid schedule and my difficulty in adjusting to the new timing meant that I haven’t really taken advantage of the set up.
This call to adventure (as well as the other quest lines) would build upon that initial set up by discussing “primary source power”. Some artifacts are so powerful that they can fuel the superpowers. In the second semester I am going to introduce the concept of “charging” their superpowers by completing quest objectives. Once they have accepted the Call to Adventure, whether this particular one or another, they will then have to move onto the next phases of the initial journey – Meeting the Mentor and the Road of Trials.