Archetypes Teacher Resources
Find Archetypes educational ideas and activities
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Students take a closer look at archetypes. In this characterization lesson, students examine the setting and the characters of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as they read and analyze the novel. Students consider how Twain mythically represented Tom's character as they collaborate to research Hannibal, MO during the 19th century in order to create one-act plays based on the research.
Students analyze the archetypal hero called the monomyth. In this archetypes lesson, students discuss the topic and view a chart of hero figures with related details. Students analyze the monomyth process diagram, read the story of the Buddha, and complete a chart of monomyth examples.
Learners analyze the archetype of 'the fall' in Shakespeare's Macbeth. In this literary analysis activity, students work in tiered learning groups to analyze the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Learners use the book of Genesis as part of the literary analysis for the two characters and the archetype. Students compete a comprehension activity, an analysis activity, and synthesis activity.
Here is a rather esoteric resource that presents the archetypes found in “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” and would be appropriate for a college-level psychology or literature class, or as a teacher resource. Considered the “world’s oldest story,” the characters and events in the tale of Gilgamesh are presented as illustrations of the archetypal theories of Carl Jung and Fritz Perls’ ideas of polarities. The discussion and writing prompts asks participants to make text-to-theories and text-to-self connections.
High schoolers examine the heroic archetype and apply it to the history of Paul Revere's Ride and to Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride." They identify heroic qualities, discuss archetypes, read and discuss Joseph Campbell's "Stages of the Hero," and apply the heroic archetype to Paul Revere.
Here is a full lesson with all the needed materials and PowerPoints attached! Introduce your class to archetypes by showing them the included presentation. The presentation gives definitions and examples of archetypal characters, settings, and journeys. Then, with the included analysis documents, readers will explore different versions of Cinderella. What are some differences? How do these versions compare to Beauty and the Beast? A test on archetypes concludes this lesson.
Take basic character analysis one step further by comparing characters from different stories and discussing archetypes. The video shows the thought process that goes along with this type of character comparison. By watching, pupils will be able to copy the process and later analyze independently. The video focuses on the antagonist of "The Story of Arachne, Nature's Weaver." However, the process could be used for a number of texts. In fact, several are attached to the resources along with a presentation and extension activities.
“Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?” Are you holding out for a hero? A Ulysses, a lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker, or a street-wise Hercules like Huck Finn? Learners explore the heroic archetype, heroes in art, heroes in literature, and real heroes in a series of activities designed to accompany a reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The packet includes guiding questions, a template for characteristics of the heroic archetype adapted from Joseph Campbell, and extensions. Although designed for Twain’s novel, the activities can be adapted to any heroic tale, from The Odyssey to Star Wars, from Jane Eyre to Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games.
Ideal for a college-level children's literature class or in a story-writing unit, this presentation defines not only the archetypal characters in literature but provides ample examples from fairy tales to modern films. The slideshow discusses roles such as the hero, the innocent, the wise fool, and the destroyer, as well as the archetypal relationships between these characters. The last few slides include male, female, child, and shadow character examples for students to discuss.
Are you are considering a unit on Beowulf or Superman, on myths, or tricksters? Here's a great overview you can use to launch a study of universal themes and archetypes. The focus here is on the oral tradition, but the concepts apply to any study of literature.
Eighth graders explore the role of plot structure and archetypes in literature. In this literary elements lesson, 8th graders read several African-American folk tales and identify the plot structure and archetypes in each of them. Students then compare the African-American folk tales to tales from other cultures prior to writing their own fairy tales.
An exciting twist on the study of the classical hero and the heroic quest! Using film to explore modern-day tales of heroes, the resource contains complete, ready-to-use lesson plans for as many as twelve days of instruction. Throughout this mini-unit, students discuss topics such as hero vs. celebrity, villains, and the heroic journey. They also trace elements of this genre in modern-day films, as well as in their own lives. The final creative writing task has them create a script or video.
Introduce your class to epic heroes with these activities for Beowulf. After watching a video clip, taking notes on heroes, and tracking characteristics of heroism throughout Beowulf, class members retell an episode of Beowulf using a PowerPoint presentation and write a compare and contrast essay. This has some solid ideas; however, many of the resource links do not work and the procedures and activities read more like an outline.
Students examine how mythology from different cultures has impacted our own. In this mythology lesson, students will identify archetypes that appear in our culture and throughout the world.
The Chief, the Bad Boy, the Best Friend, the Charmer, the Lost Soul, the Professor, the Swashbuckler, the Warrior. After examining the criteria for each of these archetypes, viewers are ask to generate a list of their own examples of heroic characters found in books, movies, or television series. Individuals then select one from the list to write about.
A relevant and entertaining presentation, this resource teaches villain archetypes with definitions and examples from popular culture. Class members are sure to laugh and nod in recognition while they take down notes for each villain archetype. The final slide asks viewers to think of more examples, setting up for more dicussion and in-depth work.
Students examine literary arts. In this Greek mythology lessons, students read Greek myths and select characters from the myths to study. Students create watercolor illustrations of the characters, write short stories about the characters, and then compare and contrast archetypes.
Young scholars assess the elements of J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series that have made it such a success. They incorporate these elements into a short film, incorporating such concepts as pop culture mythology, urban legend and archetypes.
Stereotype or archetype? Myth or fact? Middle schoolers apply critical thinking skills to assess the validity of the images and story details in picture books portraying Native American history. The study begins with an examination of Susan Jeffers’ Brother Eagle, Sister Sky, listed as a book to avoid by the Oyate website. The plan details how to direct readers’ attention to the messages sent by illustrations and how to check the facts of a story. As a contrast, class members are introduced to Joseph Bruchac’s Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places and create their own compass rose.
Why do we need heroes? Acquaint your class with the epic hero, tragic hero, and romantic hero. The narrator defines each type with accessible language and provides an example from literature. Learners will enjoy the narrator's style and animator's depiction of each example. Check out the additional materials included in the toolbar on the right side of the page.