Courage in Action

6, 7, 8

Students work as a group to create a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of the viability of taking courageous action in a specific difficult situation.

PrintOne 20-minute class period

The learner will:

  • identify personal and group strengths and weaknesses related to taking courageous action.
  • identify opportunities and threats related to taking courageous action.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have the students think about a time in the past year when they struggled with something they knew they had to do and needed courage to get through it. Ask if some students are willing to share with the class.

  2. Ask the students to analyze the italicized wordsfrom the classic hero traits along with the real-life hero traits and determine if they (the students) could also share these traits in an important situation.

  3. Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of the viability of this group of learners using courage to take action in an important or difficult situation. (Decide as a group what situation they could encounter, such as finding out that a good friend is taking drugs.) Draw a large four-section square on the board. Write Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in the four boxes. Brainstorm as a group in the boxes the strengths of this group that make it possible for them to take action, their weaknesses in this situation, opportunities this brings, and possible threats if they take action.

  4. Have students communicate their feelings about whether this demonstrates that young people are capable of making an important difference.

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.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.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.