Heroism is a concept that has been explored in society and culture throughout time--a concept that continues to be worthy of study in ELA classes at Walton Middle School. The first unit in the eighth grade Springboard curriculum introduces the challenge of heroism. Because the word "hero" is used daily--in school, conversations, movies, video games, news, daily life--it is worthy of exploring. In Ms. Alex Rhodes' classes this year, students are taking the time to reflect on what heroism really means as a societal and cultural concept. On WICOR Wednesday, these eighth graders spent time analyzing how a film--Disney's Big Hero 6--uses the hero's journey to structure its plot. Students closely and carefully watched the film to identify stages of the hero's journey. Ms. Rhodes' students organized their thoughts (a key WICOR concept) using a graphic organizer, recording details from the film that aligned to each stage of the archetypal hero's journey. During Wednesday's lesson, students carefully traced how the film's hero, Hiro, faces a series of challenges that become increasingly difficult as the story unfolds, mapping out the hero's "Beginning of Adventure," "Road of Trials," and "Experience with Unconditional Love." After pausing the film, Ms. Rhodes instructed students to "turn and talk," collaborating with their classmates about how key details from the film support the hero's archetype. WICOR strategies were in full force throughout the lesson, as students "read" the film as a text, as they wrote down key details and analysis in their graphic organizers, and as they collaborated with their peers to articulate their thoughts. Students at WMS practice these essential skills across campus each and every day--but especially on WICOR Wednesdays.
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