Yeah, I'm bristling against that for a lot of reasons. The first being that I don't have a lot of respect for the Common Core as a curriculum. It feels like a curriculum designed to be tested instead of a curriculum made to foster deep and meaningful learning. Well, this year I'm going to see.
For my sixth grade unit, I'm doing The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, which isn't a bad book by itself. In no way do ai feel it reaches the level of high-quality YA literature, but if done well it might be fun. This will be replacing my long established Greek Mythology unit. I've always focused when teaching Greek mythology on cultural literacy and the deep meaning of the myths themselves. The EngageNY unit will focus on the hero's journey, which makes me think it will be going all Joseph Campbell. That's not such a bad angle, but I still think the issue of cultural literacy and how the myths inform our daily lives is a more valid position to teach from.
I think the idea of the hero's journey is a valid one, and kids this age certainly loves heroes, but I wonder if this is the right age to discuss the concept. It's a heady one, and it doesn't lend itself to hard and fast conclusions. I also think the kids need a firm grounding in the classics before your start getting involved with comparative topics like this one. Well, I'll see.