Classic Hero

6, 7, 8

Learners choose their favorite heroes from the "Star Wars" movies and identify acts of courage. They read about and discuss the traits of a classic hero from literature.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • choose a hero from "Star Wars."
  • identify the courageous acts of the hero.
  • review the features of a classic hero.
  • define courage.

chart paper and markers


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Ask the learners to identify their favorite hero in the "Star Wars" movies. As students choose heroic characters (Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Anakin, Obe-Wan, etc.), have them identify one courageous act of the hero. Keep a list of courageous acts on the board as they share their favorites. Note: If students aren't familiar with this movie, discuss heroic characters from a more current movie or book, such as "Transformers" or the Harry Potter series.

  2. Tell the students that "Star Wars" and the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings are classic hero tales. Give them a summary of the features of a classic hero tale. For example, there is a classic hero with a humble beginning who, through difficult circumstances, finds himself faced with saving the world. He repeatedly shows courage by facing stronger enemies or daunting obstacles. His good character and wise and loyal friends give him the strength he needs to rise above his fears and limitations to ultimately change the world. Note: Ask different students to write on a chart paper the italicized words you read.

  3. Review the classic hero features written by students on the chart and star the word courage.

  4. Have the students discuss and come to an agreement on the definition of courage. Write it on the chart and keep on display for the duration of the unit.

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.