This pack of story planning resources is based on the idea of ‘The Hero’s Journey’, in which the central character of a tale progresses through 12 stages as his or her story unfolds.
Once children can recognise this structure in familiar tales, they can use it to plan their own myths, legends or fantasy stories.
This primary resource pack includes:
- Story cards
The 12 stages for two well-known stories are presented as card sets (one colour for each act). These can be shuffled before being given to the children. Children can then be challenged to place the cards in order and map them onto the 12 stages. Even if the children are unfamiliar with the tale, they should be able to sequence some or all of the cards. Answer sheets are included. The stories included are The Hobbit and Star Wars
- Story writing planning sheets
Children can use these sheets to plan out their own legend or fantasy story. Each one of the set of three is devoted to a different ‘act’ in the story
- Hero’s journey bookmarks
Children can fold this sheet, concertina-style, to create an interactive bookmark, noting when they come across any of the 12 stages of the Hero’s Journey in a story they are currently reading
- Teacher crib sheet
Provides further detail on the Hero’s Journey
- Teacher’s notes
What is The Hero’s Journey?
The idea of the hero’s journey comes from the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. It’s important to note, however, that it was not intended as a guide on how to write a story, or as a series of plot points to follow. It was merely a guide to common tropes in hero stories.
George Lucas famously used it as a story structure for Star Wars, and since then many people have done the same, which of course leads to very similar plots and arcs.
National Curriculum English programme of study links
Plan their writing by discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
Draft and write in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
Plan their writing in narratives by, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed