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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

Tragic Hero

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings character development to life with comics and storyboards.

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Poster

Featured Props

Tragic Hero

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bottle
    Bottle
  • Casket
    Casket
  • Cloud
    Cloud
  • Knife
    Knife
  • Money
    Money
  • Rain
    Rain
  • Rope
    Rope
  • Rose
    Rose
  • Skull
    Skull
  • Throne
    Throne
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Tragic Hero

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Ask students what a "tragedy" or "tragic" event is in life and/or literature. Discuss with students how someone might be both tragic and heroic. Have students predict the meaning of a tragic hero.

Explain that the word hero comes from a Greek word meaning "any person who shows courage in the face of challenges." The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, called any hero who faced a downfall, a tragic hero. The downfall resulted from fate, a societal reason, and most importantly, the hero's own flaw or mistake.

Opening Discussion

Review Aristotle's elements of tragedy:

  1. Tragic Hero: A hero who begins life with wealth or status until his fatal flaw or error leads to his downfall. The audience is meant to feel both pity for the character and fear for themselves since the tragic hero suffers the worse-case scenario as a result of his avoidable mistake. Examples of tragic heroes include: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, and Brutus.
  2. Anagnorisis: The moment when the hero makes an important discovery.
  3. Catharsis: The audience's feelings of pity and fear.
  4. Hamartia: The hero's flaw that leads to his tragic downfall.
  5. Hubris: A hero's extreme pride and disrespect for the natural order of the world.
  6. Nemesis: The unavoidable fate of the hero, usually caused by his own hubris.
  7. Peripeteia: The hero's experience of a reversal of fate or fortune.
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Describe Elements of Tragedy

    Complete after opening discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Characteristics of a Tragic Hero

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard
    Create Your Own Tragic Hero

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    On a Poster, write a professional recommendation letter for a tragic hero. Include strengths, weaknesses, and a head shot.

  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard that summarizes the six elements of a modern day tragic hero from literature or film.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What can the audience learn from tragic heroes?
  • Do you believe the mistakes and misfortunes of tragic heroes are meant to be realistic? Why or why not?
  • Are tragic heroes common in modern books or movies? Explain why or why not, and cite specific examples.
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Tragic Hero 1 Describe Elements of Tragedy

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the six elements of a tragedy:

  1. Anagnorisis: The moment when the hero makes an important discovery.
  2. Catharsis: The audience's feelings of pity and fear.
  3. Hamartia: The hero's flaw that leads to his tragic downfall.
  4. Hubris: A hero's extreme pride and disrespect for the natural order of the world.
  5. Nemesis: The unavoidable fate of the hero, usually caused by his own hubris.
  6. Peripeteia: The hero's experience of a reversal of fate or fortune.

Instructions

Create a 6 panel Mind Map or Storyboard that summarizes the six elements of a tragedy:

  • Identify the element in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the element, citing a literary example.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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Pixton Activity: Tragic Hero 2 Characteristics of a Tragic Hero

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

A tragic hero begins life with wealth or status until his fatal flaw or error leads to his downfall. The audience is meant to feel both pity for the character and fear for themselves since the tragic hero suffers the worse-case scenario result of his avoidable mistake.

Instructions

Create a Character Map for a tragic hero from literature:

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the tragic character traits.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Characteristics of a Tragic Hero

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Tragic Hero 3 Create Your Own Tragic Hero

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard

Intro

  1. Tragic Hero: A hero of noble birth has a fatal flaw or error that leads to his downfall.
  2. Anagnorisis: The moment when the hero makes an important discovery.
  3. Catharsis: The audience's feelings of pity and fear.
  4. Hamartia: The hero's flaw that leads to his tragic downfall.
  5. Hubris: A hero's extreme pride and disrespect for the natural order of the world.
  6. Nemesis: The unavoidable fate of the hero, usually caused by his own hubris.
  7. Peripeteia: The hero's experience of a reversal of fate or fortune.

Instructions

Students will create their own tragic hero, illustrating seven elements of a tragic hero in a seven-panel Storyboard:

  • Identify the element in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the hero as it relates to one of the elements.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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