The Hero Is in You

6, 7, 8

Learners listen to the lyrics of the song "Hero" by Mariah Carey. They define what a hero is and reflect on a hero's character traits besides courage.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The Learner will:

  • listen to "Hero" by Mariah Carey.
  • identify examples of courage in the song.
  • define hero and list the attributes of a hero.
  • Audio or video of Mariah Carey singing "Hero" (see Bibliographical References)
  • Printout of lyrics for students of Mariah Carey singing "Hero" (see Bibliographical References)

Mariah Carey song, "Hero"

YouTube of "Hero" by Mariah Carey


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Tell the Learners you are going to play a song and as they listen they are to think about how the lyrics relate to what they have learned and discussed in the last two lessons on about courage. Play the song "Hero" by Mariah Carey(see Materials and Bibliographical References).

  2. Hand out copies of the song lyrics. Tell the learners that you will play the song a second time and this time they are to highlight, circle or underline words or phrases in the song that define or describe courage.

  3. Ask the students what the song says about where heroes can be found. Discuss and define hero. List some essential traits of a hero and discuss whether young people can be heroes.

  4. Ask the learners to share what words or phrases they noted and to give a rationale about how those relate to courage.

  5. Tell the learners that Jackie Robinson was a hero because he had the courage to stand up for what he knew was right. The issue was so important to him that he persevered [stuck with it] through his fears and humiliations, and he changed the future of baseball.

  6. Have the students pair up to discuss and identify other character traits (besides courage and perseverance) that heroes exhibit. Share these with the whole group.

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.