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Introduction to Archetypes

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Grade 8
Reading: Literature Standard 9

Time Frame

7 class periods of 45 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Amy Geilman


In this lesson, students learn about archetypes and spend time analyzing their use in both traditional and modern stories.


Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will learn about archetypes and analyze how they are used in both traditional and modern stories.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Show PowerPoint about archetypes and introduce the concept. Students should take notes on the organizer provided.
  2. Have students read different versions of Cinderella. Students should use the Archetypal Analysis—Cinderella handout to analyze each version for archetypes. They should work in small groups.
  3. Discuss what students noticed about the Cinderella activity.
  4. Show Beauty and the Beast: A Tale of the Crimson Flower (part of the Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Stories from My Childhood series). Students should fill out the Archetypal Analysis Guide as/after they watch.
  5. Discuss what students noticed.
  6. Point out that modern stories use archetypes too, not just fairy tales. Show parts of the movie Cars. Show scenes 12, 14, 19, 25, 30, 31. Students will then complete the Archetypes in Cars form. Discuss as a class.
  7. Have students think about books, movies, or tv shows they’ve read or seen that use archetypes. They will complete the Archetypes in Modern Works paper in groups of four or five.
  8. Discuss modern archetypes as a class. Why do they still show up in literature, film, and tv?
  9. Give the archetypes test.

Assessment Plan


Created: 08/08/2012
Updated: 02/05/2018