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Courage: It is Not a Lack of Fear

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

4 Courage English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Students will:
• Understand what it means to be courageous at any age
• Identify moments of courage in their lives and in the lives of other.

Category: Junior

Definition of Courage - the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. The quality
of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery.

Core Value Focus: Courage

Introductory Activity:
Brainstorm, as a class, words and phrases that would define courage. This can be done on chart paper,
a Google doc or on a Smartboard. Students will then watch a video of a courageous 12-year-old student
that 12 year old student with a disability that decided to become a member of the school’s wrestling team.
(See "12-year-old wrestler with disability teaching lesson in courage" video at
After watching the video, have kids see if there are more terms that could be added to the definition of courage.

Small Group Activity:
In groups of 2-4, students will read an article about a person or group of people who have shown courage.
Students will use their inferencing skills to determine what aspects of courage these folks may have used
to overcome their situations.

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

Concluding Activity:

Groups will share out what they have learned about courage from the various articles. They will use the
statement “I infer that… because of this in the article.


Students will be able to accurately infer information from the text to show their understanding of the act
of being courageous.

• 7 grade level articles that show people or groups of people living courageously:

Courage Article 1 - Train Attack France.pdf
Courage Article 2 - Saudi Arabia Girls Basketball.pdf
Courage Article 3 - Bangladeshi Girl Surfing.pdf
Courage Article 4 - Middle School Lunch.pdf
Courage Article 5 - Saving Jewish People.pdf
Courage Article 6 - Brave Chinese Students.pdf
Courage Article 7 - Cancer Survivor.pdf

Quotes on the focus core value: "Courage, it is not the absence of fear. Having no fear would be
the absence of intelligence. Instead courage is overcoming that fear.
Medal of Honor recipient, John “Bud” Hawk

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who
does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
-  Nelson Mandela

"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts." - John Wooden
Read more at:

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot
practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
- Maya Angelou