Everyday Courage

6, 7, 8
Keywords & Concepts: 

In this lesson, learners recognize that courage is something we need when making a difficult choice about something important. A hero makes courageous choices for the good of all, sometimes risking personal safety and comfort.

PrintOne 20-minute session

The learner will:

  • compare and contrast courage from heroism.
  • identify examples of courage in a set of scenarios.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Our history is full of young people showing courage. Share the story of Barbara Johns, a 16-year-old Black woman in 1951, who spoke up about the unacceptable conditions in her all-Black school. She led protests and wrote letters to ask for their school to be updated to the level of the local white schools. Her actions led to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v the Board of Education that declared segregation is illegal. 

  2. Discuss the courage it took for her to speak up and lead the protests. When we are afraid for our lives or uncertain of how things will turn out, it takes courage to take action.

    Discuss what changes they would fight hard for. 

    Read some of the following scenarios and discuss how to build courage in everyday situations. 

    1. Asha's friend Allia isn't talking to her because Asha didn't sit with her at lunch today. Asha feels she might have handled it better, and she is afraid to start the conversation because Allia seems angry and hurt.
    2. Art wants to pass the swimming test at the YMCA pool, but he is afraid to jump into the 15-foot end and tread water for a minute.
    3. Nala attends a community meeting to describe an injustice she sees at a local park where people with privilege get more access to resources. 
    4. Keisha's friends are going to a scary movie this Friday night. Keisha is scared to go, but she doesn't want to miss out on the evening with her friends.
    5. Malik doesn't want to go to school or practice today because he doesn't have a good friend and feels alone.
  3. Discuss and compare these to the type of courage it takes when facing something dangerous. For example, it doesn't take a hero to go to a scary movie, but it did take a hero to face the police during the Civil Rights Movement. Everyday courage doesn't require heroic action, but it is still courage. Talk about what to do when a situation requires courage. 

    • It takes courage to do the right thing everyday.
    • Heroic courage is usually taken to make a better world. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Compare and contrast philanthropy and charity from Greek and Roman traditions and other cultures.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define and give examples of the motivations for giving and serving.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.9 Identify pro-social behavior in different cultures and traditions.