Hero’s Journey Curriculum

4/18/20 UPDATE: The links are no longer working. One goes to a message that says the hero’s journey site is being updated. Don’t know how old that message is; if it’s been there for a while, perhaps that means this lesson plan is no longer being sold. If anyone knows, let me know in a comment. Thanks.

“Dating from before history, the Hero’s Journey duplicates the steps of the Rite of Passage and is a process of self-discovery and self-integration. The Hero’s Journey is a concept drawn from the depth psychology of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” — Nina Munteanu

The hero path, as postulated by Joseph Campbell in 1946, has not only proven to be a durable means of exploring mythic heroes but as a way of exploring great literature and our personal journeys. While adding additional hero’s path resources to the web site of my hero’s journey novel The Sun Singer, I re-discovered the Harris Communications site with its excellent Hero’s Journey Curriculum. Written by a teacher, this curriculum has been tested by years of experience as well as its usage in many school systems.

If I had kids in a K-12 environment, I’d use the curriculum in homeschooling or hope at least one of the public school teachers was using it. Whether you personally need the curriculum yourself or for your children’s teachers, the web site has many interesting articles and resources that show the positive impact of the hero’s journey ideals for children.

Hero's Journey
Hero\’s Journey

Publisher’s Description: The Hero’s Journey: A Guide to Literature and Life is a 184-page teacher’s manual designed to help instructors teach and use the hero’s journey pattern in class. The curriculum, which has been in print for 13 years, includes:

* Full lesson plans, with background notes and suggested approaches;
* Student projects and activities,
* Student handouts and graphic organizers,
* Samples and models for projects and activities
* Spiral bound to open flat for lecture or copying.
* Space for your own notes and plans

Click here for more information.


13 thoughts on “Hero’s Journey Curriculum

    1. Hi Tobeme,

      The articles on the web site will give you a good idea about the focus of the curriculum. If you should get a copy, I’d be interested in knowing how you like it and whether or not you have a homeschool, camp, or school system in which to use it. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Are there actually public school teachers using this or just college level? I would think it could really catch the attention of youngsters who desperately need it today.

    1. From the information on the site, it appears so. The curriculum–which I think was revised about the first time I looked at it in 2004–has been around a long time.

      Some teachers focus first on the stories, whether classic or new, and then talk about how the hero’s journey connects to the different parts of the story.

      When STAR WARS and the MATRIX were new, they made excellent examples. Now, HARRY POTTER is a good example, one that will probably become even more interesting when the next film comes out.

      Too many kids and too many adults have the attention span of a gnat. I don’t know whether it’s being cause by e-mail, texting and Twitter or whether it’s the other way around.


      1. I think it’s being caused by not understanding the challenges of Rites of Passage in the first place. So many folks now sit back and wait to be led by outside forces rather than be the driving forces in their lives themselves. I wish I knew how to reverse that!

        1. Waiting to be led is such a tedious way to live. I don’t know if the world is just too complex for people or if they’re reared in such a way that they can’t make decisions for themselves or what. It’s really pathetic.


  2. silken

    it looks like a great resource. because I was teaching one student at the time, I did not buy this but sort of worked out a plan of my own. I really like the study of the journey. when I did this, one of the assignments required was to write down a hero’s journey that the student had taken (for example, my son’s journey to black belt) it does bring out every aspect of the journey and drives it home w/ an application for him/her.

    I just noticed the other day that my uncle has both a book by Jung and The Hero With a Thousand Faces laying right under it!

    1. You probably did well to create your own study materials. Some people criticize the hero’s journey saying it forces people to look at the rich and famous; I think, “wow, they really don’t know what it’s about.” The big name heroes in the myths are models–examples of archetypes–that we can follow whether it’s a long hike, a black belt, or a lifetime of work.

      That personal application you included is what makes it work. So, what was the Jung book? Maybe “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” or “Man and His Symbols”?


  3. silken

    hm, forgot the title. I just noticed the name and then the Campbell book right w/ it. then when I saw this here, it jarred the memory of it! probably Man and His Symbols. I’ll have to be sure to look again next time I go! 😉

  4. Word press linked your blog to mine, so I thought I’d check it out. At the moment I’m blogging about how the Tarot major arcana cards tell the story of the Hero’s Journey. Since we are all hero’s on our own journeys, I guess fortune telling/personal meditation cards would have to tell this story. It seems to be the basic plot line of our culture.

    Enjoyed this entry and comments. Come visit me at http://clavielle.wordpress.com/


    1. Seeing the major arcana cards linked to the hero’s journey sounds interesting. Thanks for your visit. I’ll definitely take a look at your posts about this subject.


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