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Say What You’ll Do and Then Carry Through: Exploring Courage, Commitment, and Sacrifice through Literature

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

1 Courage, Commitment, Sacrifice English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Students will:
• Define commitment, courage, and sacrifice and find examples from materials shared in class.
• Identify and illustrate examples of commitment, courage, and sacrifice in their own lives.

Category: Primary

Core Value Focus: Courage, Commitment, Sacrifice

Recipient Focus: There is no Recipient focus for this lesson.

Materials Needed:
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
• Chart paper or other means to record Venn diagram
• Paper and supplies for student writing/illustrating
• Computer with internet connection and projection system

Introductory Activity:
Show video clip "Powerful Inspirational True Story...Never Give Up!":
The teacher will ask students: Why didn’t Derek Redmond quit when he got hurt? What words
would you use to describe him? What would you have done if that happened to you?

Small Group Activity: There is no small group activity for this lesson.

Whole Group Activity:
Before reading Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss, the teacher will ask students to listen
for examples of how Horton shows some of the same core values as Derek Redmond.

Read Horton Hatches the Egg.

The teacher will ask students to share with an elbow partner their ideas about how Horton
and Derek Redmond were alike.
• What obstacles did Horton encounter?
• What did Horton do when he was in that situation?
• When did Horton show courage?
• When did Horton show commitment?
• What obstacle did Derek encounter?
• What did Derek do when he was in that situation?
• When did Derek show courage?
• When did Derek show commitment?

The teacher will lead students in brainstorming character traits of Horton and Derek Redmond
using a Venn diagram on the board. Discuss similarities and differences.

Small Group Activity/Activities:
The teacher will divide the students into three small groups. Each group will be assigned one
of three core values: courage, commitment, or sacrifice. Students will work together to create
a definition of their core value and find an example from the story. Each group will write/illustrate
their definition on a large piece of paper.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will call on each group to share with the whole class their definition and example
from the story. The teacher will support student understanding through examples not mentioned
by the students.

Concluding Activity:
Students will be directed to think of a time when they demonstrated (or plan to demonstrate)
commitment, courage, or sacrifice in their own life and will complete the attached sheet. Pages
can be bound into a class book and shared.

Use final discussion of commitment, sacrifice and courage. Student work

Extended Activities:
Students can be encouraged to create a Google slide with their core value definition and an image.

Seuss. Horton Hatches the Egg. New York: Random House, 1940. Print.
Lynne Connie. "Powerful Inspirational True Story...Never Give Up!" YouTube. YouTube, 16 Sept. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

Courage Quote: "Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” - Dr. Robert Anthony

Commitment Quote: “Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” - Abraham Lincoln

Download lesson to view Worksheet.