Back to Lessons

What Would You Do?

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, JROTC, Citizen Honors

One to Two Class Sessions 

Students will:

  • identify the values of a Medal of Honor Recipient and a Citizen Honors awardee
  • examine and analyze how a person faces danger

Citizen Honors Focus: Chris Mintz

Introductory Activity:
The teacher will discuss with students the “fight-or-flight” response. According to Harvard Health Publication, it “evolved as a survival mechanism, enabling people and other mammals to react quickly to life-threatening situations. The carefully orchestrated yet near-instantaneous sequence of hormonal changes and physiological responses    helps someone to fight the threat off or flee to safety.” While science proves this reaction is involuntary and instinctual, we humans tend to judge each other’s level of courage according to whether we face the danger or flee.

Students will describe in one or two paragraphs a situation where either they or somebody else demonstrated courage in the face of danger.

Small Group Activity:
Students will compare their responses about courage and discuss the circumstances of the actions. They will explain what the outcome of the situation was and its connection to the fight or flight response.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will view the video about Chris Mintz, Citizen Honors Awardee. The teacher and students will discuss his fight or flight response and his subsequent act of courage.

Concluding Activity:
Students will write a one-page summary about the video featuring Chris Mintz and his act of courage. Students may reflect on how they would have reacted in a similar situation.

Responses, essay

Chris Mintz video

In Their Own Words