Courage is the ability to face your fears with determination and confidence.
- Read definitions of courage. Have students write their own definition and illustrate what courage looks like.
- Have students brainstorm a list of everyday situations that require courage.
- Discuss that courage is not something we are born with but rather a decision or choice we make daily.
- Use a thesaurus to fill in a Bubble Map with synonyms for courage.
- Place students in groups. Using the newspaper, have students find examples of people who show courage.
- Ask students to interview relatives who they think portray courage.
- Assist students in writing a letter to someone in the military thanking them for their courage and our freedom.
- Discuss the term "peer pressure". List some times at school or with friends where one might have to act or choose to go against what others are doing. How does that require courage?
- Review library books and literary works to read as examples of courage, such as the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King or the stories of Rosa Parks or Ruby Bridges. (Ask your librarian for suggestions for reading materials on courage.)
- Use a starter sentence such as "I want to do the right thing, but..." Discuss the term "conviction" as it relates to courage. Discuss how choosing to do the right thing is not always popular with the crowd.
- Read The Little Engine That Could and discuss courage.
- Role-play situations where a student might need courage to stand up against someone else and how that student could respond in the right way. Examples might include teasing other people, smoking, doing drugs, and cheating.
- Discuss how the lion is often used as a symbol of courage. Use clips from the "Wizard of Oz" to illustrate how courage is a choice.
- Make a pop-up book of people or animals that show courage.
- Study and discuss Christopher Columbus or other explorers and their discoveries. Examine how things might have been different if not for their courage.
- Create a class or school banner to hang. Add students' names every time they display a courageous act.
- Invite a community member such as police officer, fire fighter, or paramedic to talk to the class about courage.
- Have students share their own stories of a time when they had to display courage.