January 25th, 1999
George Lucas and the Power of Myth
Procedures for Teachers

Background



  1. Write the word hero on a board, and have your classbrainstorm possible meanings.
  2. Ask the class to identify some examples of conflicts which illustrate the ‘good vs. evil’ evil theme in the modern world. Some examples may include tobacco companies vs. non-smokers, large chain stores vs. mom and pop operations, or polluters vs. environmentalists.
  3. Have the students poll ten people of varying age groups and ask them to name five heroes. Share individual results with the class and post the results.
  4. Ask the students to write a brief paragraph describing their own personal heroes.
     

Activity One


  1. Read Prometheus and Pandora (http://www.webcom.com/shownet/medea/bulfinch/bull2.html) and David versus Goliath (http://www.jhom.com/topics/david/goliath.html with your class.
  2. Discuss and critique the explanations suggested for good and evil.
  3. Ask the students why they think there is evil in the world.
  4. Discuss possible reasons why people search for explanations for good and evil.
  5. Ask the students to bring in examples in literature, movies, or television that reflect the themes of good vs. evil.
     

Activity Two



  1. Ask class members to bring in examples of heroes in our culture. These can include photographs, pictures, or news clippings.
  2. Create a Hero Attribute Chart to compile the class suggestions.
  3. Classify the results by the category of their profession.Classify them by their attributes.Compare each of the profession’s attributes. Are there similarities and differences amongst them? Write the following list on the board: Firefighter; Musician; Doctor; Inventor; Mother
  4. Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to assign a numerical value to the importance of each of these occupations, with number one being the most valuable and number five being the least valuable.
  5. Share small group’s results with the entire class.
  6. Add each of these occupations to the class Hero Attribute Chart.
  7. Divide the class into small groups. Each group is responsible for researching the accomplishments of the assigned individuals or groups.


    • Group One: Tiger Woods
    • Group Two: Ralph Nader
    • Group Three: Mother Theresa
    • Group Four: The Beatles
    • Group Five: The Sierra Club

    Each group will present their research findings to the whole class. Add each person or group’s characteristics to the class Hero Attribute Chart.
  8. Lead a class discussion of the following questions:
  9. What contributions do performing artist or musicians make to society?
  10. In your opinion, how important do you think performing artists and musicians are?

Activity Three



  1. Ask the class to research the life of George Lucas. Some possible websites to visit include:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/lucas_g.html

    http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hc&id=1800017101&cf=bios

  2. Discuss the conflict between good and evil represented by Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should create an artistic rendering representing some aspect of the relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. This can be in the form of a short skit, music, a poster, a letter, a mural, or any other format.
  3. Discuss whether the story of "Star Wars" could be considered a modern myth.
     

Activity Four

Visit www.glef.org, the website of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Discuss the foundation’s goals and investigate their projects.

Divide the class into small groups. Each group should research one of the following:


  • Group One: Star Wars
  • Group Two: Indiana Jones
  • Group Three: American Graffiti
  • Group Four: Lucas LearningAsk the class to respond in their journals to the following question:
    Do you think George Lucas is a hero? Why or why not? What has he contributed to our society?

Assessment

Students will be assessed on the quality of their participation in class discussions, the quality of their writing, and the quality of their presentations.
 

Extension Activity

Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to select three public figures and write to them with a request to name their personal heroes.

Compile the results in a format that can be shared with a larger audience, such as a booklet or a website. Share this information with other schools in the community, or ask them to participate in the project with your class.

Inside This Lesson

Salinger

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.