Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Everyday Courage
Lesson 2
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Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

In this lesson, students define courage further by distinguishing it from heroism and recognizing that courage is something we need when making a difficult choice about something important.

Duration:

One 20-minute class period

Objectives:

The learner will:

  • compare and contrast courage from heroism.
  • identify examples of courage in a set of scenarios.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills.  For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to generationon.org.

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Have the students raise their hands if they think they have ever had to be brave. Ask them to keep their hands up if they had to be brave about something this week. Ask students whether courage is needed every day or if it is something more rare. Discuss why or why not.

  • Read some of the following scenarios to discuss what courage is. Discuss why it is or is not an example of courage. Lead students to discern that courage is needed in a difficult situation, where a choice must be made, and there is an element of fear or anxiety about the results of the action.
  • Scenarios (use some of these and have students come up with more of their own):
  1. Brenda's friend isn't talking to her because Brenda was mean to her at lunch today. Brenda knows she must apologize, but she is afraid to admit she was wrong.
  2. Eight-year-old Brett wants to pass the swimming test at the YMCA pool so he can go on the big slide. He already swam across the length of the pool, but he is afraid to jump into the 15-foot end and tread water for a minute.
  3. Samantha's mother grounded her for the weekend because she didn't clean her room this week.
  4. Your dog is very ill and the vet advised your family to put the dog to sleep so it will not be in pain.
  5. Kevin has a lot of homework tonight, and he doesn't know how he will get it all done and go to baseball practice.
  6. Nathan's friends are going to a scary movie this Friday night. Nathan is scared to go, but he doesn't want to miss out on the evening with his friends.
  7. In 2002, Ahmed was asked to leave an airplane because people were afraid he was a terrorist. He refused to get off the plane, and the flight attendant called for security.
  8. Malik's family in Pakistan could not afford to send him to school. His teacher said he could go to school if he helped with school chores, but he was afraid to tell his family he could not work for the family during the day. 
  • Discuss whether people gain more courage when they are facing something really horrible. For example, it doesn't take a hero to go to a scary movie, but it did take a hero to face the police during the Civil Rights Movement. Everyday courage doesn't require heroic action, but it is still courage. Share and discuss the following quote by French poet John Petit-Senn:

"True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher."

 

Lesson Developed By:

Betsy Flikkema
Associate Director
Learning to Give

Barbara Dillbeck
Director
Learning to Give

Handouts:

Philanthropy Framework:

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