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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

Types of Heroes

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

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Types of Heroes
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings character development to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Types of Heroes

Featured Props

Types of Heroes

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

  • Arena
    Arena
  • Arrow
    Arrow
  • Castle
    Castle
  • Plane
    Plane
  • Raft
    Raft
  • Shield
    Shield
  • Ship
    Ship
  • Spear
    Spear
  • Sword
    Sword
  • Wand
    Wand
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Types of Heroes

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Discuss with students what it means to be a hero. After hearing student opinions on the topic, explain that a hero is someone who can be emulated and admired for their brave or influential actions. In literature, a hero is the protagonist. Some heroes resemble the typical hero, while others do not. There are five main types of heroes who embody specific characteristics. Many heroes are considered archetypes, meaning they embody universal and timeless human traits. By understanding the type of hero and archetype a protagonist embodies, the reader can gain a better understanding of the character's motives, the story's themes, and human nature as a whole.

Opening Discussion

Students should be able to define and identify five main types of heroes in literature:

  1. Classical Hero: The most common type of hero is the classical hero. This protagonist is almost too perfect, displaying tremendous courage and achieving unbelievable feats. While they may have one flaw, they overcome it with ease, and generally follow strong values and codes of behavior. They are an average person without any superhuman powers, but they have one special gift or quality that distinguishes them as special from other ordinary people. Examples include the heroes in Braveheart, Gladiator, and The Hunger Games.

  2. Epic Hero: These protagonists are similar to classical heroes, except they possess superhuman abilities and appear in epic stories. Many are partially divine or otherworldly. Since epics cover large periods of time and space, epic heroes lead a long and arduous quest to defeat their enemies. They are legendary within their fictional culture, and are usually born into their fame or status. Along with their fighting ability, admirable character, superhuman strength and courage, they are also unusually humble. Examples include epic heroes from The Iliad and The Odyssey, along with modern day epics including, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings.

  3. Antihero: These flawed main characters have traits more common amongst villains than typical heroes, such as greed, immorality, conceit, and dishonesty. While they are flawed and lacking obvious heroic traits, they are inherently good. Antiheroes range from "regular" people with small flaws, such as Holden Caulfield, to well-intentioned murderers, like Tony Soprano. Examples include: Captain Jack Sparrow, Jay Gatsby, Donald Draper, and Michael Corleone.

  4. Tragic Hero: These heroes are defined by a fatal flaw or error that causes their downfall. They begin the story with a high-level of happiness or status, until their flaw leads to bad decisions and their eventual fall from grace. However, the audience is meant to feel sympathy for the character since their completely avoidable mistake leads to complete and utter tragedy. The tragic hero's unfortunate life embodies the worst-case scenario, which teaches a cautionary lesson to the fearful reader. Examples include: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, and Brutus.

  5. Everyman Hero: The everyman hero is an ordinary person with ordinary capabilities who is thrown into extraordinary circumstances where they are forced to act heroically. They often have strong morals and the desire to act selflessly to help those in need. Unlike the classical hero who is almost too brave, talented or perfect to be believable, the audience can easily relate to and identify with the everyman hero. They aren't noticeably flawed like the antihero or tragic hero, but they have an ordinary balance of strengths and weaknesses. Most realistic fiction features an everyman hero. Examples include Huckleberry Finn, Marty McFly, and Atticus Finch.
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Identify Types of Heroes

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Define Types of Heroes

    Complete after opening discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Hero Character Map

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Character Map (Extension / Modification)

    Students will create a Character Map illustrating themselves as one of the five types of heroes.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • Brainstorm a list of heroes from modern fiction, film, and television. What type of hero are they and why?
  • Brainstorm a list of real-life heroes from history and current events. What type of hero are they and why?
  • Why do you think everyman and antiheroes are becoming more and more common in film and literature?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Types of Heroes 1 Identify Types of Heroes

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Students will describe examples of the five types of heroes as outlined in the opening discussion.

Instructions

Students will create a Storyboard or Mind Map depicting each of the five types of heroes from novels or films discussed in class:

  • Identify the type of hero in the panel title.
  • Write specific, detailed descriptions of each type of hero.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Types of Heroes 2 Define Types of Heroes

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Students will define the five types of heroes as outlined in the opening discussion.

Instructions

Create a five panel Mind Map or Storyboard that summarizes the five types of heroes.

  • Identify the type of hero in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed definition of each type of hero.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Types of Heroes 3 Hero Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Students will describe examples of the five types of heroes as outlined in the opening discussion.

Instructions

Create a character map for three of the five types of heroes:

  • 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 epic character traits.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Hero Character Map

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

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