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What Is Courage

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle/High School American History, Language Arts, Vietnam War

Students will:
• Define courage and give examples of courage in varied circumstances.

Medal of Honor Focus: Jack Jacobs, Captain, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Element, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam War

Introductory Activity:
The teacher will ask students to write five to seven lines describing an action that demonstrates
true courage. Students will share and discuss their responses with a partner.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will copy the attached graphic organizer on the board, working from the inner circle
to the outer circle as the lesson proceeds. The students will also copy the graphic organizer. The
teacher will ask students for words or phrases that are synonyms for courage. Tell students to write
their responses in the inner circle of the graphic organizer. The class will then give examples of courage,
writing them in the second circle. The students will view the vignette of Jack Jacobs. While viewing, the
students will write examples of courage from the vignette in the outer circle of the graphic organizer.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
The students will share their own graphic organizer with a partner and compare examples of courage
from the vignette.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will ask the class for examples from Jack Jacob’s vignette and write them into the graphic
organizer on the board.

Concluding Activity:
The teacher will ask students to define courage in their own words and discuss differences between their
initial impression and their reflection after completing this activity.

Written definition, reflection, graphic organizer, discussion

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. NY: Artisan, 2006.

Quote: "Have the courage to defend it with honor, integrity and your life is necessary." - Joe M. Jackson, Air Force-Vietnam War

Download lesson to view Graphic Organizer.

In Their Own Words - Jack Jacobs

Portrait of Valor

Additional Resources

Portrait of Valor

Download the Portrait of Valor for Jack Jacobs to learn more about this American hero.