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.” Excellent lesson plan that incorporates 4 different ELA standards - media, literature, writing, and communication. The plan is broken into 3 parts: an overview, procedures for teachers, and organizers for students. The procedures for teachers are literally step-by-step directions on how to teach this lesson. Could be adapted to multiple grades and modified for varying time frames. Includes an assessment piece.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3003.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3003.3.1
Write in a variety of modes, with particular emphasis on persuasion, for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3003.7.1
Evaluate the aural, visual, and written images and other special effects used in television, radio, film, and the Internet for their ability to inform,...
CLE 3003.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3003.7.3
Recognize how visual and sound techniques or design (e.g., special effects, camera angles, music) carry or influence messages in various media.
CLE 3003.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3003.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of American literature from the colonial period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3003.8.4
Analyze works of American literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
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. 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: