Quebec Competencies Chart - Movie Heroes and the Heroic Journey

Author: Don Walker, Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board and Leslie Johnstone, York Region Board of Education
Level: Secondary Cycle Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Lesson Link: Movie Heroes and the Heroic Journey

Description: The place of the hero in our modern lives is a site of struggle. On the one hand, the hero’s quest can have meanings for individuals who seek to understand their own journey through life. On the other hand, the hero can be seen as a repository of those values esteemed by the society. The study of the hero as social icon offers the student an opportunity to reflect on and critique the dominant reading of the hero, as well as to consider oppositional readings. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and will have the opportunity to apply these theories to the examination of heroes.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To solve problems
  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To be creative
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Media Literacy

This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

COMPETENCY 1 uses language/talk to communicate and to learn

  • Compares the affordances of written, media and multimodal languages in achieving a specific purpose
  • Examines how poets and others have used the sound patterns and other auditory elements of spoken language to great effect:
    • in media texts: slogans and jingles in commercials; repetition and sound patterns in music videos

COMPETENCY 2 Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Constructing a Reading of a Text

  • Focuses on a topic and/or issue that is of interest to her/him to construct an efferent reading, (e.g. makes sense of the text by coming to terms with the ways in which a topic has been developed by a writer/producer)
  • Focuses on the relationship between self as reader and the text to construct an interpretive reading
  • Activates relevant prior textual knowledge before, during and after reading text(s) to monitor the meaning(s) s/he is making, (e.g. uses what is known about a writer/producer and her/his style to make predictions, draws on knowledge of structures and features of a specific genre, applies knowledge of codes and conventions particular to specific texts)
  • Activates relevant prior personal knowledge and experience to make sense of a text which is frequently expressed in text-to-self connections, text-to-world connections, text-to-text connections
  • Asks questions of self, writers(s) and text(s) as s/he reads to clarify and focus reading
  • Determines the most important ideas/messages/themes in a text
  • Draws inferences from a text
  • Retells or synthesizes what s/he has read, e.g. attends to the most important information and the quality of the synthesis itself to better understand the text

Reader, Text, Context

Draws inferences about the view of the world presented in a text

  • Identifies dominant elements and interprets their use, e.g. point of view, specific literary conventions, structure and sequence of argument, patterns of cause and effect
  • Identifies the characteristics of the writer/producer and evaluates how these influence meaning, i.e. how stance, socio-cultural context, values and/or beliefs shape the world of the text
  • Explores how power relationships are constructed in the text
  • Examines how language (word, sound and image) is shaped to present ideas and information
  • Makes connections between the depiction of different groups in texts and the context or setting of a text

Distinguishes between “open” and “closed” texts:

  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “open” to multiple perspectives/ interpretations (i.e. is complex enough to allow different perspectives to emerge) and interprets how these influence the view of the world presented.
  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “closed” to multiple perspectives (i.e. runs along formulaic lines that indicate its lack of complexity and make only a limited number of perspectives possible) and interprets how this influences the view of the world, e.g. in a pulp romance novel or a comic book, recognizes some elements of plot structure that are formulaic and repetitive

Justifies her/his interpretation(s) of texts on the basis of own fluency as a reader

  • Evaluates the way specific codes and conventions of a spoken/written/media text are employed to have an impact upon the assumptions, actions, values and beliefs of readers:
    • codes and conventions of a specific genre that are employed to have an impact on readers in general or on a target audience in particular
    • mode(s) of representation (sound, word and image) that influence the message(s)/meaning(s) of a text and how these reveal the intention(s) of the writer/producer(s)
    • linguistic and textual features that situate or position the reader, e.g. connotations and denotations, stereotypes and bias, aspects of characterization and setting that evoke a specific emotion or response, appeals to mainstream values and beliefs
    • issues and topics that present alternative values, beliefs, lifestyles in order to evaluate meanings for self as part of a process of interpreting a text
    • features and conventions of favourite genres and how these are used to special effect, e.g. in a mystery or a romance novel, in a magazine article
  • Interrelates characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and self as a reader:
    • identifies characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and applies this knowledge to determine how the text is designed to appeal to self as a reader, e.g. writer’s style, producer’s values or intent
    • evaluates a perspective or point of view and its impact on self as reader
    • recognizes the use of rhetorical strategies, e.g. use of first person to convey attitudes and feelings about an issue/topic, appeals to common beliefs or values in a culture, appeals designed to evoke a certain age group
  • Makes inter-textual connections between texts read in and out of class:
    • compares and contrasts alternative and mainstream values, mores, lifestyles within a range of literary and popular narratives
    • compares and contrasts the socio-cultural, literary or historical contexts and conventions in texts

COMPETENCY 3 Produces texts for personal and social purposes

Assuming Roles as a Writer/Producer

  • Adopts a stance to a topic and audience appropriate to the genre
  • Explores different dimensions of a character, issue

Characterizing an Audience

Investigates how different target audiences use and respond to particular texts:

  • identifies factors that constitute a target audience and evaluates how media texts are shaped to suit them
  • compares and contrasts own responses, reactions and use of texts with those of peers, family, other households and more distant audiences

Analyzes characteristics of audience for own productions:

  • chooses an audience depending on context for production
  • analyzes the expectations of audience, e.g. the uses the audience will make of the text (for entertainment, for information, for escape), generic conventions

Public and Private Space

Conducts a genre analysis:

  • compares and contrasts texts within a social function, i.e. Why do people produce them? Who has access to these texts? Do they serve the same purpose? How do they communicate the values of a community?
  • evaluates the structures, features, codes and conventions used
  • evaluates the affordances of genre and mode, e.g. why a news article works better in a certain situation than a memoir
  • examines how language (sound, word and image) is shaped:
    • to represent and/or exclude people, events, ideas and information
    • to organize and develop ideas
    • for special effect

Uses texts as models to guide production:

  • refers to model text(s) throughout the production process
  • creates criteria for guiding production
  • identifies specific structures and features to reproduce own interests, purpose and audience

Applying Codes and Conventions

  • Applies conventions of the genre:
    • chooses textual structures and features
    • chooses linguistic codes and conventions
  • Explores the representation of gender, race, appearance, culture, social class

Planning and Drafting

  • Brainstorms ideas, clarifies and extends thinking by talking with peers and teacher
  • Uses strategies to work out ideas, plan and draft, e.g. concept map, free writing, storyboard