Back to Lessons

Courage: Celebrating Common Interests and Our Diversity

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

5 Courage English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Objectives
Students will:
• Discover courage can be demonstrated in many ways, big or small.
• Complete courageous acts by experiencing activities outside of their comfort zone.
• Reflect on how these actions have helped them become more courageous.

Category: Junior

Core Value Focus: Courage

Recipient Focus: All Recipients

Essential Question: What does courage mean? How does it feel to be courageous?

Introductory Activity:
The Courageous Egg

Materials: Wide mouthed glass or jar, uncooked rice, egg. Place the egg in the middle of the glass
completely covered by rice. Explain that the egg represents someone who is hanging with the crowd.
One day the group starts making fun of other people, the egg doesn't like it so he tells them to stop
(tap the top of the rim, the egg will rise up from the rice with each tap). Next, the group of friends
starts excluding others from their games (tap the rim) and they start telling lies. Each time the egg
refuses to go along with his friends and stands up for what's right (tap again). Continue until the egg
has completely risen above the rice. Source: (http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/beverlywoodsES/Documents/Marchcourage.pdf)

Have students turn and talk or conduct a whip share (having each student share individually to the
class) about the question: “What does this have to do with courage?”

Lead students toward the idea that it takes courage to do the right thing when others are not. A
courageous person will rise to the top and stand out from the rest! A courageous person will take
a risk and go out of their comfort zone, even when it’s not the popular thing to do.

Whole Group Activity:

Me and We: We are All Similar and Different
Materials:
10 sheets of paper, numbered 1 to 10, taped to the wall
Procedure:
Divide your class or hallway into 1 to 10 sections (a rating scale) enough area for students to move
around. Then ask students to rate how much they like the topic. Then have students move to the
area based on how they would rate each topic. For example: “if you like something a great deal,
move to the 7 or 8 area. If you love it, move to 10. If you really hate it, move to the 1 or 2 area."
Use topics that your class can relate to like: strawberry ice cream, broccoli, hula hooping, soccer,
pop music, singing a solo, rap/hip hop, action movies, Pokemon Go!

Option two: “What is your comfort zone?”
Discuss the idea of comfort zones and ensure that students know the meaning. Create zones in
your classroom (could be circles, areas) that represent “Inside my Comfort Zone,” “Just Outside
my Comfort Zone,” “REALLY Outside my Comfort zone.” Students move from zone to zone
depending on their feelings on the following subjects.
Topic ideas: Singing a solo, skydiving, talking in front of the class, asking for help in math,
changing a diaper, making tamales, making new friends, going camping

Small Group Activity:
Teacher pairs up students with someone they are not familiar or friends with. A person
outside of their social circle. Assign each partnership a question to discuss so they
can get to know someone they don’t normally converse with. For example:
http://childhood101.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Childhood_101_Conversation_Cards.pdf

Students will then share with the large group about what they learned about their partner.
Discuss how this activity represents courage?

Next step: Mix-it Up Lunch Day: Students will be given the challenge of sitting with someone
at lunch that they normally don’t know. Teacher places conversation cards on the lunch table
to encourage them to get to know someone they don’t know. Follow up as a teacher and have
the students be accountable and share what they learned about the person they choose to sit
with at lunch.

Concluding Activity:

Fish Bowl Graphic

Discuss as a whole group ways that students can show courage by going out of your comfort zone
in their lives. “What are some ways you can go out of your comfort zone in school?”

Using the fish graphic, students will decorate their own fish that can be moveable. There are two fish
bowls, one is the comfort zone bowl and one is out of the comfort zone bow. All the fish start out in
the bowl that represents the comfort zone. When a student does something out of their comfort zone
they move their fish to the other bowl.

Fishbowl PDF
Goldfish PDF

Assessment:
Graphic Organizer Reflection:
Student will use word map graphic organizer to define in their own words what courage is, describe
real examples of courage they complete and/or saw other students demonstrate, and draw a visual
to represent their experience.

Journal Prompts for student reflection:
Describe how it felt to go out of your comfort zone and spend time with someone new.
What did you learn from this experience? What would you do differently?
Think about other ways students in our school demonstrate courage.
What is another way you can demonstrate courage in your daily life?

Extended Activities:
Teachers can create a Character Development Wall on which the character traits of sacrifice, commitment
and courage. Students can use a nomination sheets to recognize these character traits in the actions of
their peers. As students fill out these sheets, they can be posted underneath the corresponding trait. Teachers
can choose to recognize individual students by giving awards to the largest acts of sacrifice, commitment
and courage (teachers can choose to give these awards quarterly, by the semester or yearly).

Extension to Mix-it up Day: Buddy Self-Portrait. First, each student draws a portrait of their lunch buddy.
Then they cut the portraits down the middle and each buddy gets one-half of their buddy’s portrait. Next, they
glue together one half of their portrait and their buddy’s half to make a complete portrait. The last step is to
write about how they are the same and different. Maybe end with a friendly compliment.

Resources:
Kid President's Guide to Making a New Friend
Buddy Bench Video
Kid President Talks to Tom Hanks about Heroes!
• I Am Malala. This is my story. by Malala Yousafzai (Also a movie)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6glK-eXlDE


Quote on the focus core value:
Jimmy Carter's words: "We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams."