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 Introduction, Part 2 Call to Adventure, Part 3 Meeting the Mentor, Pt 4 Road of Trials, Pt 5 Crossing the Threshold, Pt 6 Approaching the Innermost Cave, Pt 7 The Ascent and Resurrection, and Pt 8 Returning with the Elixir

Calendar Overview

The 2021 Spring Semester begins on January 11th. During this semester students will be in a Hybrid setting and will meet in person 1 day per week, meet through Google Meet for 20 minutes 1 day a week, and is expected to complete a Distance Learning activity equivalent to a 90 minute in person session. This is likely the model for the foreseeable future so I am going to organize this into weekly deadline expectations. These deadlines are flexible and will just amount to suggested completion dates and there will be no late penalties.

WeekTo be Completed (Civil Rights Hero’s Journey)Expected Curriculum Content
1 (1/11)Introduction of Quest – Call to Adventure through the Email from the MentorStandard 3 Section A: Gilded Age
2 (1/18)Students accept the Quest (can be done in week 1) by responding to email. Student receives a return email with a link to the Quest Google Site. Student completes background info (super power, weapon of choice, Hero Name) Begin Road of TrialsStandard 3 Section B: Into the West
3 (1/25)Road of Trials – 3 trials (Ida B Wells, Booker T and WEB, Source Minion Fight. Each Trial Gives a piece of an artifactStandard 3 Section C: Gilded Age Politics
4 (2/1)Finish Road of Trials. Possibly Start the Crossing the ThresholdStandard 3 Section D: Progressive Era
5 (2/8)Common Assessment 3 in personStandard 4 Section A: US Imperialism and WWI
6 (2/15)Cross the Threshold Boss FightStandard 4 Section B: the 1920s
7 (2/22)Approaching the Innermost Cave Trials – Red Summer of 1919 comparisonsStandard 4 Section C: The New Deal
8 (3/1)The Ordeal – Tulsa Massacre 1921 Ordeal and creationStandard 4 Section D: WWII
9 (3/8)Common Assessment 4 in personStandard 5 Section A: Post War America
10 (3/15)Finish the OrdealStandard 5 Section B: 1950s
11 (3/22)The Ascent activities – Gathering and Analyzing Civil Rights Era Primary Sources and placing into context.Standard 5 Section C: 1960s
12 (3/29)Resurrection Battle – Must first crack the Google Form Lock Codes to be transported to the battle might take some timeStandard 5 Section D: 60s II and 1970s
14 (4/12)Resurrection Battle – Boss Fight based on content up to this point.Standard 5 Section E: 1980s
15 (4/19)Returning with the Elixir – begin a independently designed project that will share the information learned in the Civil Rights Journey. Project should extend beyond the classroom walls. Students will propose the project and must connect the modern Civil Rights movement with the information learned along the Quest.Standard 5 Section F: Modern America
16 (4/26)Common Assessment 5
17 (5/3)
I am required to complete the SC US History End of Course Exam which is usually administered sometime in mid May. Also, as a dual enrollment course I am encouraged to stay on the college schedule which ends around this time as well.

In Class Activities

The Expected Curriculum Content consists of the Recorded Lectures and Readings that would traditionally be called a “flipped class” structure. In this Hybrid Model I have asked students to complete this lower level content knowledge activities on their distance learning days. Students can complete this without my assistance and can bring questions about content into the classroom. This opens our classroom time to the more critical and creative thinking tasks in the “questing” where I can act as a guide and aid. My initial plan is to allow “questing” students the ability to ignore my general plan for the day and “go off on their own”. This should allow for more interest in the quest activities. There will be several quest options and this will give them the ability to have me as the “Supernatural Aid” stepping in for guidance and the occasional deus ex machina when necessary.

XP Grading Connections

This is a semester long unit and will cross through three different units. My district requires that our graded assignments fall into 3 types of activities; Major (50%), Mid-level (30%), and Practice (20%) (I have thoughts on this but don’t want to go down that rabbit hole right now). The XP goal is to reach 10,000XP to earn a 100% number grade. When I plan out units I try to outline “buckets” where assignments will slot into. This is what I have planned for a student that chooses to go on the Hero’s Journey Quest.

There is a lot of leeway in which assignments go in which category but the Common Assessments are expected to go in the Major Assessment Category. To improve the usefulness of the Common Assessments I award XP based on a Tiered Level system. I also give XP credit for completion of “Content Quests” which are the successful completion of an activity based on a recorded lecture or reading. This is a low level content acquisition “practice” assessment. The majority of the Quest XP grades fall in the Mid-Level assessment activities.

There are several variables into this XP organization. The first is the “Bringing the Elixir” extension activities could be worth a lot more than just 250XP. My goal is to allow students to design their own elixir activity and then propose who much XP the project is worth. I will also offer side quests and weekly challenges. Students can earn a great deal more than 10,000XP if they were to complete everything. The weekly challenges are designed to supplant Practice level notes activities and in class we can review the content they were supposed to have taken. Obviously students can grind out XP which is a flaw but a relatively minor one.