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Awareness skills

6. Profiles of heroism
Go to Awareness lesson 2Go to Awareness lesson 3Go to Awareness lesson 4Go to Awareness lesson 5You are at Awareness lesson 6Go to Awareness lesson 7go to Awareness lesson 8

Key ideas
1. Heroism is a test in response to adversity.
2. Heroism involves overcoming competing emotions.
3. Heroism means coming to terms with risk and sacrifice.
4. Use the Hero Template to profile heroism.

Now that children have a grasp of the fundamentals, apply what they have learned to analyzing nominations for heroism. Print copies of the Hero Template or create your own handout from the information on the form. Distribute several templates to each student.

Discuss each section of the template. Take some time to discuss the idea of an emotional trial. Heroic behavior can involve elements of fear, doubt, sadness, or even anger that might "push" a person away from heroic behavior. Other feelings of courage, care, love, and responsibility are more powerful, though, and "pull" the person taking the action. They are willing to make the sacrifice or take the risk because of a noble judgment they make about the circumstances.

In some cases, this judgment is thought out. In other cases, the decision is made so quickly that the person taking the action is not even aware of making a choice.

Apply the template to at least four case studies that involve both famous and less well known acts of heroism. You can select from our Heroic Profiles list or choose your own. You could create a poster on each nomination with relevant information and place them on a "Wall of Honor" in your classroom. Files on each nomination could be created and expanded as children add information from their library and web research. In the less well known heroic acts there may be only a little information. Make sure these less-publicized acts are included in your case study list.

You could nominate one of the children in the class or school as a case study. For example, in one of my Time for Heroes events, a 12-year-old girl's father talked about a choice his daughter had to make between taking a strong medication for the rest of her life or undergoing a painful surgery that could be fatal. She chose the surgery and is now fine. In a recent public television program on the brain, several children were profiled in this age group who underwent a one-side full lobotomy to eliminate severe, debilitating, and life-threatening seizures. Before nominating a child in your class or school talk first with the child privately. If he or she accepts the scrutiny, then talk to the parents.

The case studies you select will be extremely important for the remaining lessons in this and future skill sets.

Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion for this lesson? Go to the author contact page.


maphttp://www.ksu.edu/wwparent/programs/hero/hero-aware-6.htm--Revised June 13, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005 Charles A. Smith. All rights reserved.