Issue 5: Heroes Among Us


Issue 5 of ‘Outside the Lines’, a virtual magazine supporting teachers in developing a high-quality, diverse, authentic, and integrated curriculum.


A hero is someone who defends a moral cause without expectation of reward, knowing there is a personal risk. It’s a common misconception that heroes are innately destined to be that way. Recent research has confirmed that by developing heroic habits in everyday life, one is more likely to act heroic in situations where heroism is called for. By conceiving of heroism as a universal attribute of human nature, not as a feature of the few ‘heroic elect’, it becomes a skill we can develop both in ourselves and the kids in our charge.

In this issue, Students enroll in ‘hero training’. Throughout the first three key ideas they are able to earn badges for different ‘heroic habits’. For a final prompt, they choose a member from their community that is an exemplar of at least one of the heroic habits they have studied, and they create a custom badge for them.

As they move through the unit, students are exposed to examples of heroes, artworks which explore the concept of heroism, are involved in discussion and reflection, and ultimately use art as a vessel in which to practice heroic habits and earn their badges.

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