Through reading about a variety of heroes, students learnt the common character traits and actions across heroes. Students also identified their own hero, why this hero inspired them, and a character trait of this hero they aspired to.
|Enduring Understanding||Heroes influence and bring about changes|
|Level||Middle School 1 (11-12 years)|
|Disciplines||History & Language Arts|
Teachers felt it important for students to know that historical and current heroes share certain traits and characteristics. Heroes also raise the bar by performing actions such as protests, demonstrations, etc to generate awareness and change. Students learned that people do not have to be famous to be considered heroic, and that every individual can aspire to heroic traits.
The Heroes unit was an integration of Social Sciences and Language Arts. In Language Arts, students read stories with the objective of making inferences about character traits from characters’ thoughts, words and actions. This skill was then applied when students’ read historical content about heroes.
The students picked a hero of their choice and read a given text. Students responded to reflective questions about the text using a variety of differentiated activities. Students chose a range of heroes including Bruce Lee, Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela & Mohammed Ali.
PROJECT LEARNING GOALS
- To identify character traits and values that make a person a hero
- To recognize how heroes impact society positively
- To learn that heroes can be recognized as such based on popularity, or subjectively. We pick our heroes based on our interests, and their values and character traits
- To recognize that every individual has and can cultivate heroic traits
SCAFFOLDING & DIFFERENTIATION
The class was split into two groups based on their writing ability.
- E-books were projected on the screen and were read as a whole group.
- The teacher paused through the book to ignite discussions using guided questions such as ‘What do you notice here?’, ‘Why do you think they did that?’.
- Through guided and then independent practice, students identified the correct vocabulary for different characteristics using a word bank with teacher support when needed
- Some students were given open ended questions that could be used with any of the stories they read. Worksheet 1, Others students benefited from sentence prompts that were specific to the story that they were reading. Worksheet 2
- Printed copies of the book were shared with the students.
- Some students chose to work independently. Students who needed support with decoding were paired with a stronger decoder.
- Graphic organizers were initially filled in pairs. As the students became familiar with the process, they filled up the graphic organizers independently.
My Hero: Students had to choose an unsung hero from a list. They were provided with a basic introduction of each of the heroes on the list which helped with their choices. They needed to identify the character traits and values displayed by this hero, choose one character trait in particular that inspired them and justify their choice. Students then had to identify a character trait within themselves that could make them heroic.