Issues to Stand By

6, 7, 8

Students identify issues in their school or community they feel they could have the courage to stand up for.

PrintOne 20-minute class period

The learner will:

  • identify issues in the school (community and world) that are difficult to address because it takes courage to take a stand.

display copy of Handout One: Issue Categories


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Ask, "If you saw someone getting bullied in the hall, how would you feel? What would you do?" Discuss the students' answers to this question. Lead the students to recognize that it takes courage to stop a bully or even tell a teacher about bullying.

  2. Discuss examples of when it takes courage to do the right thing at school. Say, "Are there issues at our school (or community or world) that take courage to address?" Prompt the learners with categories of issues: See Handout One: Issue Categories for examples of issues. Examples: "Are there any environment-related practices that are difficult for people to adopt? Is there any prejudice that people ignore? Does it take courage to do something about homelessness or hunger in our community? Why?"

  3. List the students' ideas on a display board. Discuss specific actions that require courage [bravery; the ability to confront fear or uncertainty] if one is going to stand up for the right thing in these areas.

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.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss why some animals and humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.