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Heroes and heroines in stories for you to explore with your class using drama

What is a hero? Wikipedia says that a hero is all that is good and noble and someone who sacrifices themselves for the greater good.

You could also say that a hero is somebody who does something dangerous to help somebody else.

If anything has universal appeal among children, it is a good story with heroes and heroines. Stories with rich descriptions of the lives and personalities of inspiring individuals (mythical or real) entertain as well as serve as role models for children. Through heroes and heroines of different cultures, children develop an understanding of the norms in various parts of the world, and what it can mean to live in a particular region, or time period, or to be male or female. Stories with hero’s or heroines in that the children can identify with provide a rich source of stories for use in drama and literacy too. These kinds of stories can be easily broken down into episodes for you to explore through drama using some of the strategies above. At some point the hero or heroine may face a dilemma or difficult choice which can be dramatized and debated using hot seating or though tracking.

Can you ask the children what they think of when they hear the word hero? What makes someone a hero for them? See if they can think of any hero’s they know from books, films and television.

Here are some you could explore through drama and storytelling with your class:

Spiderman A superhero, he gained special powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider and fought crime in New York.

Harry Potter An orphan who finds out on his eleventh birthday, that he is a wizard. He attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and must battle to overthrow the evil Lord Voldemort, the murderer of his mother and father.

Mulan A real Chinese heroine who from a very young age led an army to defeat the Mongols because her father was too old and her brother too young. As a child, Mulan loved riding horses and shooting arrows, as well as reading books and although she was a warrior and was offered a title by the Chinese Emperor it is said that she refused the title preferring to return home to her family.

Robin Hood A story from English myth set in the midlands. The Sheriff of Nottingham rules the land with an iron fist. But in the depths of the forest, Robin and his band of merry men soon plan to challenge the evil Sheriff. Wearing a dark hood for disguise and with his trusty bow, Robin quickly becomes an outlaw, fighting the forces of evil for the good of the poor

Cecile and the Spider Queen Mystic Heroine Adventures by Marilyn Churchil (I Universe ISBN 978-0595471362)
Cecile is the only one who can unlock a secret doorway to the treasury by appearing before the Mirror of Truth. Cecile must hurry to save her kingdom and its people from the Spider Queen’s web.


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