Making Curriculum Pop

My PbL "Voyage": Curriculum-building as a Hero's Journey for the Teacher

I'm not sure what the intent of this group was, originally.  I'm assuming it's to share what metaphors we use for our practice, so given that, I'd like to share this outline I made to conceptually frame my year for the purpose of keeping a journal or blogging ( 

It's a draft, mind you, but here goes:


Taking Students on a Year-long Metaphorical “Hero’s Journey”
An Experiment
The Course As a Voyage
Rites of Passage toward What? (Aims of Education)
Personal Growth & Opportunity
Contribution of Knowledge & Skills

The Ship
Nuts & Bolts of a Voyage-worthy Vessel (Course Management)
The Personal Learning Fleet (Collaboration & Networking)
Captain’s Log (The Value of Reflection & Feedback)

Surveying the Landscape & Charting The Course
What’s Worth Visiting on One Year’s Journey? (The “Big Ideas”)
Plotting Possible Coordinates (Driving Questions)

Choosing Specific Destinations (Projects)
Scouting for Project Ideas
Standards as “Destination Guides”


Planning for Each Destination
The Project as an “Expedition”
Driving Question
Concepts, Skills, & Processes
Outfitting The Explorers
The Treasure (Culminating Product)
The Mission (Entry Event)
The Rough Map (Outcomes, Assessments)
The Compass (Purpose Statement)
The Expedition Party (Groups)
Predicting Points of Interest (Need-to-knows)
Planning for Possibilities
A Flexible Itinerary
Scouting for Resources (Content)
Packing the Ship for the Journey (Student Tools)
Planning for Accessibility (Tools for Inclusion)
Feedback Fleet (Colleagues, Critical Friends, PLN’s)


Launching an Expedition
Checking In

The Last Leg
Travelogue (Reflective Journal)
Synthesizing A Year
Student Samples of Reflection
Artifacts (Portfolio)

Completed Projects
Student Samples

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Syd - thanks for sharing this - have you seen this book from ASCD The Hero's Journey: How Educators Can Transform Schools and Improve... or this related blog post - The Journey: Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

Related - thought they might be of interest - thank you so much for sharing your ideas!! Ryan:)
I haven't- I'll go check 'em out. I wish I had more time to actually blog.
Thanks Ryan :o) has an online interactive tool based on the Hero's Journey ( On that page, you can also see what we resources we have developed on that topic. If you have more lesson plan or teaching ideas to add, let me know. We pay educators in the field for their submissions.
Nice!!! Thank you!
This is great! A cool way to teach metaphor, heroic journey and your content. Thanks for sharing.



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