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:

    Ask the learners to raise their hands if they think they have ever had to be brave. Talk about some examples of things they have to be brave about. Discuss whether courage is needed every day or if it is something more rare. Note: This is a discussion, and there isn't a correct answer.

  2. Read some of the following scenarios and discuss the many ways courage shows up or is needed. Through conversation, identify which of the examples do not describe courage and what element is missing. They may discern that courage is needed in a difficult situation where a choice must be made, and there is an element of uncertainty or anxiety about the results of the action. After discussing a few of these, ask the learners to come up with new examples to discuss.

    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. Eight-year-old Art wants to pass the swimming test at the YMCA pool so he can go on the big slide. He already swam across the length of the pool, but he is afraid to jump into the 15-foot end and tread water for a minute.
    3. Samantha's mother grounded her for the weekend because she didn't clean her room this week.
    4. Your dog is very ill and the vet advised your family to put the dog to sleep so it will not be in pain.
    5. Oliver has a lot of homework tonight, and he doesn't know how he will get it all done and go to baseball practice.
    6. 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.
    7. Malik doesn't want to go to school or practice today because he feels like he doesn't have any friends. 
  3. Discuss 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.

    • It takes courage to do the right thing.
    • 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.