Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Exploring "Heroism"
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

In his lecture “On Heroes,” British philosopher Thomas Carlyle states, “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” In honor of the heroes of September 11th, students will explore the concept of “heroism” in this lesson, through personal reflection, group activities and a thoughtful analysis of the documentary, HEROES OF GROUND ZERO. Students will use different forms of writing, various artistic media and computer software to explore their own understanding of what it means to be a “hero.” Ultimately, students will demonstrate what they have learned by creating a presentation on the theme of “heroism.”

Grade Level:
Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:
Nine to twelve class periods

Subject Matter:
Language Arts

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Use various forms of writing to express their thoughts.
  • Analyze historical documents, literary texts and visual media to explore the concept of heroism.
  • Relate the messages of literature and film to their own experience.
  • Learn to use visual images to express ideas.
  • Create a multimedia presentation to convey their understanding of heroism.


National Standards:

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS: VIEWING, Level IV, Standard 1 &StandardID=9
Uses a range of strategies to interpret visual media (e.g., draws conclusions, makes generalizations, synthesizes materials viewed, refers to images or information in visual media to support point of view, deconstructs media to determine the main idea).

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS: VIEWING, Level IV, Standard 9 &StandardID=9
Understands how literary forms can be represented in visual narratives (e.g., allegory, parable, analogy, satire, narrative style, characterization, irony).

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS: READING, Level IV, Standard 1 &StandardID=7
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts (e.g., textbooks, biographical sketches, letters, diaries, directions, procedures, magazines, essays, primary source historical documents, editorials, news stories, periodicals, catalogs, job-related materials, schedules, speeches, memoranda, public documents, maps).

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS: READING, Level IV, Standard 6 &StandardID=6
Understands how themes are used across literary works and genres (e.g., universal themes in literature of different cultures, such as death and rebirth, initiation, love and duty; major themes in American literature; authors associated with major themes of specific eras).

MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS: WRITING, Level IV, Standard 7 &StandardID=1
Writes expository compositions (e.g., synthesizes and organizes information from first- and secondhand sources, including books, magazines, computer data banks, and the community; uses a variety of techniques to develop the main idea [names, describes, or differentiates parts; compares or contrasts; examines the history of a subject; cites an anecdote to provide an example; illustrates through a scenario; provides interesting facts about the subject]; distinguishes relative importance of facts, data, and ideas; uses appropriate technical terms and notations).

This lesson was prepared by: Bo Wu