Mapping out my Heroic Journey

So, I had this idea … (don’t these  projects all begin like that?). We have just finished reading The Lightning Thief, which is a fantastic book set in Modern Day against the landscape of Greek Mythology that has as its main character a boy (Percy Jackson) who is considered dyslexic and ADHD, but who finds out he is really a half-god and must avert World War III by returning the stolen Lightning Bolt of Zeus. The kids eat this book up and many were borrowing Greek Mythology books from the library. I had parents saying their kids were reading, on their own, more than I had assigned — for the first time that they could ever remember. Honest.

So, too bad we had to end it, right?

Next up: the graphic novel version of The Odyssey. I convinced my team to invest some of our shared resource funds into a set of the novel, which is going to be a perfect companion to The Lightning Thief, and should allow them to see how the travails of Odysseus (and his hubris) are alive and well in Percy Jackson. Plus, it has cool monsters and stuff. And it allows me to teach a bit about image and text and the dynamics of a graphic novel (this is another first for us).

So, I was trying to think about a project after we read The Odyssey and it occurred to me that a great project would be for them to create their very own Heroic Journey Home. It would be a creative journey, but how best to show it? Why not use an online mapping program, I realized, that would allow them to learn more about the technology and create something interesting. I thought about CommunityWalk — too many advertisements. I searched around for some others. Interesting, but nothing outstanding. And I kept returning to Google Maps and so, that is where I stand right now (but still searching).

And as it turns out, in writing class, we have been doing an entire descriptive writing project around monster, so there are illustrations of almost 90 monsters that they can draw upon to “encounter” on their way back home. Are you with me so far?

If so, can you give me some feedback on this sample Heroic Journey that I created?

View Larger Map
Thanks and peace (with as little hubris as I can muster),

  1. Ok
    This is a bit strange — but if I am logged into my google account, I only see a blank map embedded here.
    However, if I log out of Google and return to the blog, it shows my path.
    I wonder why this is? Seems counter-intuitive.

  2. That is simply brilliant!! I love the whole concept. I clicked on a colored map pin and was given the monster. The text was off to the side somewhere. Next I enlarged the map per the link you provided and I saw the whole outline on the left and a map on the right. I clicked on “The Beginning” and the story text and monster picture came up for that “chapter.” It could only be better with audio telling of the story by the kids. That must be next week, right? 😉

  3. Hi Kevin
    I love the idea, but have a hard time seeing both the map and the writing. On the pages with the monster photos the writing above them doesn’t show unless I zoom all the way back out and then it doesn’t always work. It may just be my dying PC which doesn’t like to play nicely lately.


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