In this lesson, begin to integrate previous discussions
on fear, risk, courage, and nobility into a definition of heroism.
Ask children to define what heroism is. There are many different
ways to define heroism. Children could find the definition in a
dictionary or encyclopedia. Record children's ideas of what heroism
means to try to achieve consensus. Then compare their definition
Heroic behavior involves finding the courage to take a significant
risk or make a great sacrifice to achieve a noble goal.
Ask children to identify as many examples of heroism as they can.
Emphasize that heroism, like courage, can be dramatic and obvious
(a teenager donates his kidney to his brother) or more hidden from
view (a father works two difficult jobs to support his family).
To understand heroism, we have to make several judgments. Is the
act a free choice? Is there risk or sacrifice involved? Did the
person overcome fear or self-gratification to make the choice? Is
the purpose of the act noble?
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