Unlikely Hero

Indiana Jones spends most of his time as a university professor. But on occasion, he’s an adventurer who fights bad guys in order to find and protect treasures. Clark Kent is a mild-mannered reported, but when the people of his city are in danger, he saves the day as Superman. In this project, students will create their own dual-natured heroes with an unlikely mix of occupations.

First, students should think about how their character is an action hero. Are they a spy? An adventurer like Indiana Jones? A Kung-Fu master from the 1980’s? A superhero? A Robin Hood-esque swashbuckler? A monster hunter? A freedom fighter?

Next, they should think about a job that seems like the complete opposite of an action hero. Indiana Jones’s occupation as an archaeology professor shares its topic with his role as a treasure hunter, and Clark Kent uses his connections at the newspaper to learn about events that need Superman as soon as they happen, but your students should think about a job that’s not at all related to their heroics. Maybe they design women’s hats, or repair grandfather clocks, or write dictionaries, or bake and sell pastries. Try to think of jobs that have require specialized skills, tools, or knowledge sets.

Here’s the challenge: How can your character use their specialize skills, tools, or knowledge from their day-job when they’re being an action hero? Maybe it wouldn’t make sense to apply these on a regular basis, so students can come up with some unique situations that call for those specialties. It’s okay to get quite silly with these scenarios. The point is to be creative, not practical.

Depending on the students’ interest and proficiency level, they could either write a brief description of how those specialties are applied in action, or write a narrative.

The scope of this project is pretty small, amounting to a general description or a single scene. But if your students love to write stories, you can also us this as a full-on writing prompt.

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