Mythical Heroes Unit - World Literature For High School - Comic Book Heroes

Rated 4 out of 5, based on 3 reviews
3 Ratings
Around the World With Mrs C
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9th - 11th, Homeschool
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Are you looking for a way to hook your high school students into World Literature or Mythology? This unit is an engaging look at heroes and why humans have always been fascinated with them. Students look at mythical heroes from all around the world and examining how these stories reflect the values of that culture. This ready to go unit has EVERYTHING you need to have a full 6-7 weeks of highly engaging discussions and rigorous skills-based work as well as a fantastic PBL project to be working on throughout the unit.

❤️ With this unit, students focus on the essential question of how our cultural heroes reflect our society's values. Starting with the ancient Greeks and working their way up to modern comic book superheroes.

✨ I have included 6 areas of study:

  1. The Hero's Journey and Archetypes- frontload them with the knowledge they need for that deeper analysis later on
  2. Ancient Greece- Perseus, Hercules, and Theseus (add in The Rage of Achilles for even more rigor)
  3. Ancient China and Japan- Mulan and Prince Yamato (add in the animated movie Nezha if you have a chance!)
  4. Norse Mythology and Heroes- Odin, Thor, and Sigurd
  5. Anglo-Saxon Hero- Beowulf (mini unit can also be found here)
  6. Comic Book Heroes/Antiheroes- Batman and Superman focused

The unit covers the cultural values of each ancient society and thought-provoking assignments/discussion points on how their values are seen through their heroic stories. There are also assignments that look at the physiological needs that humans have for hero worship.

⭐ Included with this unit overview:

  • Detailed unit outline with suggested essential questions for each area of study and suggestions on planning
  • Archetypes Reference Book Activity- my students as well as many other teachers have said this activity helps students to get to a much deeper level of analysis
  • Over 20 links- this can be used in person, but is also a digital learning friendly
  • 13 Power Point presentations- cultural values of each society and discussion questions
  • Differentiated assignment options for each area of study- all set and ready to go!
  • PBL project for students to complete a new heroic story- for extra engagement I have my students connect with other elementary classes
  • alternative project for students to research a real-life modern hero and present on them
  • Blank comic panel PDF pages- have students try their hand at making a comic book
  • Research assignment handout on McCarthyism, Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings in April 1954, and the Comic Code Criteria in connection with cultural issues in America during the 1950's

Included in the lesson plans are also suggested ways to increase the rigor for Gifted classes if you need to differentiate beyond on-level or co-taught classes. I have successfully used this unit for gifted, on-level, and ESOL.


What are other teachers saying?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

An excellent introduction to archetypes and the hero’s journey.


❤️ Would you like a lengthier description of how I have used this in my classroom? Check out my blog post here.

_________________ Popular Questions and Answers ___________

Who is this unit best designed for?

This unit will work best for high school students, but could work well for 8th grade with the right scaffolding.

Do I have to do the entire unit?

I have designed it so that you can complete the entire unit as a sequence, but can also be easily broken up or added to a larger study- such as The Odyssey, Ramayana, or Gilgamesh.

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.


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