Students will:

  • compare and contrast the terms hero and idol
  • identify the characteristics of a hero
Middle and High SchoolSocial Studies, Language Arts

One Class Session

Introductory Activity:
Students will create two columns on a piece of paper and label them “hero” and “idol.” The teacher will write the students’ heroes on the board as they share them with the class. Afterwards, the class will discuss what makes a “true” hero. The students may write that a hero is a person who exhibits bravery, courage, and may be willing to put his or her life on the line for others. The students will write down the characteristics of an idol, which may include someone who is adored and admired for celebrity or fame.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will view the video featuring Sammy Davis, Leroy Petry, or Patrick Brady and take notes on what they think makes him a “true hero.”

Small Group/Individual Activity:
Students will form groups of four and discuss if the person they originally chose as a hero truly fits the category. The groups will decide if they need to identify a new person as a hero based on what they learned. Students will continue to work in their small groups and write more characteristics for each column of the original paper/ comparison chart.

Concluding Activity:
Students will share their comments and analysis regarding the characteristics of Sammy Davis, Leroy Petry, or Patrick Brady and his heroism. Students will discuss whether they changed their vision of their hero or not.

Individually, students will write a reflection about a Medal of Honor Recipient as an example of a hero and the lists made at the beginning of the class of heroes and idols.

Charts, paragraph that explains how the chosen hero fits the definition as discussed in class, reflection

Chosen Medal of Honor Recipient Living History video