#Walkmyworld Super Jerry: A Tale by Ben and John

If I think about real life heroes pre-school teachers come right to mind. Think about it. These fearless warriors take twenty or more kids all day while we shuffle off to work. Armed with passion, possibilities and wipes, They are then responsible for the well-being and knowledge of the citizens they serve.  a

Sounds like hero work to me. So in honor of all the preK-3 teachers out there I created a hero’s journey with my two older sons, John (1st Grade) and Ben (pre-school).

How we Did It?

We used Toontastic. This is a free iOS app (used to cost money but Google purchased it and made it free). I have a tutorial on Toontastic and Narrative Writing.

But first we had to plan the story. I wanted to follow the #walkmyworld prompt as close as possible. I took the eleven elements of the monomyth and reduced them down to questions:

  1. Call To Adventure
  2. Assistance
  3. Departure
  4. Trials
  5. Approach
  6. Crisis
  7. Treasure
  8. Result
  9. Return
  10. New Life
  11. Resolution

Here is my adaptation:

  1. Who is our hero? Where is She from? Where does she go?
  2. What problem does she have to solve?
  3. Who helps our hero along the way?
  4. How does our hero solver her problem?
  5. What is the big battle?
  6. What treasure does our hero earn?
  7. What happens when she goes home?
  8. How is she different?

As much as I tried the female lead didn’t make it our of the writer’s room.

We completed a graphic organizer together:

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Everything is a remix

The hero’s journey is one of the original remixes. Our story was no different. Jerry was another than Jerry Mouse of Tom and Jerry Fame. He only became human when there was no mouse in Toontastic.

The storyline they drew came from TV shows and previous characters. Except the purple polkat dotted underwear. That is a Benjamin McVerry original.

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Shared Voice

They get the hero narrative already. It is that embedded in our shared experience. Super Jerry didn’t call all his friends because we were limited in the number of characters, called toys, we could use in Toontastic.

Ben took over narrating our story as John had correctly pointed out that we had spent half the allotted iPad time on education stuff and he moved on to NHL2014. John still interjected at key points in the plot.

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Wrapping Up

The resolution was also rushed as we could only have a total of six scenes in Toontastic. Still it is a great app to get students exploring the text structure of stories. The Hero’s journey is an easy first path you can take on the quest to master digital teaching and learning.

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry is a teacher, researcher and scholar at Southern Connecticut State University.

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