This toolkit explores the concepts of leaders, self-expression, and advocacy. Teachers, librarians, and other educators may wish to capitalize on student interest in this work with resources that provide students' opportunities to explore theses concepts. Most of the resources in this toolkit are more appropriate for middle or high school age students. Learn more about these resources: leaders, self-expression, and advocacy.

Bravery, Heroes and Leaders

Students in school today have many opportunities to explore concepts of bravery, heroes, and leaders. Do they have adequate opportunities to explore bravery as it relates to their own experiences and their own communities? These resources and lesson plans can help.

Born This Way Foundation, led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, encourages safe learning environments where students can lead efforts in their own communities to bring about a braver, kinder world. 

Humanities Essay: Am I My Brother or Sister’s Keeper?: This is an integrated essay project the students produce for their World History and English language arts courses. Students are asked to consider (1) how the examination of the past can inform us about our present lives and (2) what our responsibilities are toward one another.

Esperanza Rising: A Young Girl’s Story of Courage: This lesson plan shows the great courage of a young girl who displays a story of struggle and growth as she starts over in a new country and a new life.

Hometown Heroes: Students are asked by a community task force to create a video public service announcement (PSA) to honor their hometown heroes. Students conduct research and interviews to define courage and explain how it benefits humanity.

Boys Read: Considering Courage in Novels: Students select one of several recommended novels, then read and discuss the text with peers. They use online tools to review the main events and structure a persuasive essay on how the protagonist shows—or does not show—courage. This is a lesson on interpreting information and drawing conclusions.

Profiles in Courage: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: This lesson plan asks students to read To Kill a Mockingbird carefully with an eye for all instances and manifestations of courage, particularly those of moral courage.

A Hero in My Eyes: After studying the question, “What is a hero in today’s society?,” students create a textual and visual representation of a hero in their life. Students utilize literary devices, sensory details, and the narrative form to create a written character sketch of their hero in a heroic moment, and then represent that moment through photography.

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