The Hero’s Journey

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In recent weeks, we’ve been reading some mythology, including Robert Nye’s Beowulf: A New Telling. Our discussion of the book led to discussion of stories in general and the common elements we find in so many of them. Beyond the basics of plot and setting, character and conflict, climax and resolution, we often discover the hero’s journey, a narrative pattern found both in mythology and our modern stories and made famous through the work of scholar Joseph Campbell.

We had some fun thinking about our own lives in terms of the pattern:  a call to adventure in an unknown world, challenges faced the help of mentors and opposition from enemies, an abyss of darkness to be passed through before we could emerge with greater understanding of ourselves and our abilities, and the rewards gained from our experience.

Here are some of those journeys, shared via Tackk and our Edublogs accounts:

On Broadway!

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This week we begin our study of Phantom of the Opera, one of Broadway’s most famous musicals.  Some of you are already familiar with the play and are fans of the music.  Most of you have heard of the story, but you don’t yet know the details.  You’re in for a treat!

Every year, students say this is a fun unit, and that’s true.  We do have fun! But we also learn a lot. Our study of the plot gives us a better understanding of the terms rising action, internal and external conflict, character motivation, climax, resolution, and theme.  We’ll discuss the influence of setting on mood and plot, and we’ll explore the nuances of diction and tone. We’ll debate some difficult questions, and if past years are any indication, a few of us will even be moved to tears.

What musicals have entertained and inspired you?  Are there some Broadway songs that you and your family know by heart and can sing without prompting?  Share your favorites in the comments!