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Exploring the Six Core Values

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School Foundational, Citizen Honors

One Class Session

Students will:

  • research, define and interpret the six core values
  • use these definitions and interpretations in an informational essay

Introductory Activity (Optional):
Write or project the six core values of the program on the classroom board: courage, integrity, patriotism, citizenship, commitment, and sacrifice. Instruct students to write a journal entry about what they feel these words have in common and why they would have been placed on the board. Discuss responses.

Whole Group Activity:
Discuss journal entry responses and the purpose of the words.

Small Group Activity:
Divide students into groups of two to four. Assign each group one of the six core values. Give students copies of the word map or poster paper and these instructions for students to complete:

TASK 1: Write the core value that your group has been assigned in the center box.
TASK 2: As a group, define the core value in your own words.
TASK 3: Identify a minimum of 3 synonyms for your group’s core value.
TASK 4: Identify a minimum of 3 antonyms for your group’s core value.
TASK 5: Leave the "Examples" box on the word map blank. 

Whole Group Activity:
As a class, watch the living history of any Medal of Honor Recipient or Citizen Honors awardee. Have the students look for examples of their group’s core value as they watch.

Small Group Activity:
After the video ends, reconvene the groups and have students write examples of their core value from the video in the final space on the word map. Additionally, they can go back and update their definition, synonyms, and antonyms, noting any edits with an asterisk.

Whole Group Activity:
Have individual groups present their core value definition, synonyms, antonyms, and examples to the class. Ask class members to compare and contrast the words and identify what they have in common. Discuss how the values are related to one another.

Concluding Activity:
Lead a discussion on the values and how they relate to the students’ lives. Have students write an essay  about someone who displays one of the values and how he/she displays that value. In their conclusion or as a separate assignment, have students write about how they can incorporate these values into their daily lives.

Discussion, poster, essay, presentations, and connections to real-life examples

Core Values Word Map Template, video of Medal of Honor Recipient or Citizen Honors awardee

Extended Activity:
After completing this introductory lesson, students can redo the lesson using the story of a different Medal of Honor Recipient or Citizen Honors awardee or a personally identified real life example of the core value.

Additional Resources