Bigger Than Life

6, 7, 8

Learners identify examples of courage from the actions of Jackie Robinson.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • take a pre-test on Jackie Robinson.
  • read or listen to an article by Henry Aaron about Jackie Robinson.
  • identify examples of courage in Jackie Robinson.
  • Teacher copy of article found on Internet (see Bibliographical References)
  • Student copies of Handout One: Jackie Robinson Quiz

Aaron, Hank. "Jackie Robinson: The Trailblazer" Time Magazine, June 14, 1999,9171,991262,00.html


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Ask the students to raise their hands if they have heard of Jackie Robinson. Give each student a copy of Handout One: Jackie Robinson Quiz. Tell them you want them to fill out this quiz, guessing when they don't know the answer.

  2. Read aloud the Time magazine article writtenby Henry Aaron about Jackie Robinson. (See the link below.) Before reading, tell the students to take notes as you read the article of ways that Jackie Robinson showed courage [bravery; the ability to confront fear or uncertainty]. They may also update the quiz answers if some of the questions are answered in the reading.


  4. Discuss the examples of Jackie Robinson's courage and why he was determined to show that courage.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. 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.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.