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Heroic activities
celebrate heroes

Everyone has a hero -- someone to look up to or admire. This week, Education Word offers ten lessons that will get students thinking about their heroes. Included: Activities -- students create a picture book about their heroes, develop holidays honoring their favorite heroes, create memorials for animal heroes, and more! Plus additional online resources!

Who are our heroes? Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr. were among the names cited most often as national heroes in a recent ABCNews Poll of Adults. Among children, results from a Sports Illustrated for Kids Omnibus Study showed that relatives -- particularly parents -- and friends top the list of heroes, followed by athletes and "religious figures."

Why not ask your students to write about their heroes? Students, teachers, and parents can contribute stories and pictures about their heroes to My Hero, an ongoing online project started in 1994. The site now has a database of thousands of hero features contributed by people from around the world!

You can use the ten activities below to help your students explore the heroes in their lives -- and among themselves! A brief description of each lesson appears below; appropriate grade levels for each activity appear in parentheses. Click any headline below for a complete teaching resource!

My Heroes Picture Book
Students create a picture book about family members and friends who are heroes. (Grades Pre-K, K-2)

What Makes a Hero?
Students complete a work sheet about the characteristics of a hero. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Who Are Your Heroes?
Students write about famous people, family members, and friends who are personal heroes. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Honor Your School and Community Heroes
Students create a special event or an award to honor a hero in the school and/or community. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Create a Holiday for Your Favorite Hero
Students create a holiday for a hero not currently honored with a holiday. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Heroes in History ABC Book
Students create an ABC book about heroes in history. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Heroes Mural
Students create a mural showing famous people regarded as heroes. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Animal Heroes: Dogs in War
Students learn about the roles dogs played in saving lives during wars and create a memorial for the animals. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Superhero Comic Strip
Students create a new superhero and write a comic strip about the superhero! (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

In Your Opinion: Are Athletes Heroes?
Students participate in a classroom debate about athletes as heroes. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)


Heroes and Heroines in the Family
In this unit from the Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute, students study multicultural fairy tales and folktales to learn about heroes in various cultures. Written for middle school students, many of the activities in the unit can be adapted for elementary grades.

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