The following descriptive listing of all 30 HEROES units is presented to reveal a suggested instructional sequence.

o Unit #1: Getting Started: Who Is Your Hero?

We recommend that you begin with the Companion Unit entitled "Getting Started: Who Is Your Hero?" using it for diagnostic, formative, and summative evaluation and assessment purposes. With this unit, you will be able to learn your students' initial and changing opinions of and prior knowledge about heroes.

o Unit #2: Heroic Character Traits From A to Z

Follow the evaluation unit with the Companion Unit entitled "Heroic Character Traits from A to Z." This unit introduces the concept of heroes by identifying the heroic traits found in most real heroes-one per letter of the alphabet. After assessing your students' understanding of heroes and introducing heroic character traits, teach as many of the 22 biographical Hero Profile Units as you like, beginning with Raoul Wallenberg. Then complete your study of heroes with any of the six other Companion Units you deem appropriate for your students.

Units #3 – #25: The Twenty-Two Hero Profile Units

The following twelve notations, (a) to (l), apply to all 22 Hero Profile Units. These units are designed to be easily used in any sequence. Please refer to The Instructor’s Guide for additional sequencing options. One popular alternative is to coordinate the Hero Profile Units with holidays and current and special events throughout the calendar year.

(a) All the Hero Profile Units follow the same basic format. First review a whole unit, and then pick and choose which activities are most appropriate for your students and your instructional time constraints.

(b) The materials in each unit are organized in three levels, from the most complex to the most basic. Each unit begins with general instructions for using the unit and then with suggested activities that students might do. A contextual timeline follows – not of the individual hero’s life – but listing social and political events, technological and medical discoveries, inventions, and other interesting events that took place during the hero’s lifetime. This time line should be read by or to the students (as age/ability appropriate) at the beginning of the unit. This is truly fun and fascinates both teachers and students. Do you know by whom and when the safety-pin was invented? [Clue: take a look at the Timeline in the Harriet Tubman unit.]

(c) Next are readings and activity sheets for students at three readability levels. Each of the three levels in each unit contain different details and activities, with Level III containing the richest detail and Level I typically providing interesting art activities.

(d) Instructors of all three levels should read the hero biography contained in Level III of each unit. This reading provides background information useful for instruction at all three of the levels. The biographies are also used as a student reading at Level III.

(e) The "Sharing" sections at the end of almost all the student activity sheets encourage intergenerational communication about heroes. It is hoped that students will discover the hero within themselves, their families, their communities, and their culture.

(f) The program materials lend themselves to a discussion of historical and contemporary social issues and the various roles heroes play in shaping our lives and the future of the world.

(g) After the students learn about a particular hero, they are directed to retell the story of the hero in a modified round-robin style or through other creative storytelling or communication formats in order to probe comprehension.

(h) Geography and maps are included in the study of the heroes. It is important for students to comprehend the value of placing the individual within an historical and geo-political context.
(i) Discussions about careers revealed in the student readings are prompted.

(j) Discussion and hands-on activities about conflict resolution, negotiation, and leadership abilities revealed in the student readings and related activities are emphasized.

(k) Also emphasized is the importance of understanding the historical context of each hero's life. Discussed are technologies, political issues, risks and dangers, conflicts and resolutions, and general social practices common to the hero's lifetime.

(l) Remember that these units were designed as a complement to mandated curriculum materials and educational standards. They reinforce "the basics," and encourage service learning and critical thinking skills. They emphasize character development and can be useful in guidance sessions. These units can be used within a wide range of academic subjects, including art, music, creative writing, vocabulary development, dramatics, letter writing, mathematics and statistics, journalism, and storytelling.

o Unit # 26: A Hero of Your Choice

This Companion Unit requires each student to identify a hero of his or her own choice. The hero may be someone the student knows personally, has heard or read about, or someone whose heroic actions have sparked an interest. The selected hero may be famous or not famous. The format for the creation of your own Hero’s Unit is clearly defined, and yet it encourages students to use both their talents and intellect to create a unit worthy of their personal hero.

Students create timelines reflecting the contexts in which the hero lives/or has lived. These contexts include: the historical; the geo-political; the technological; the cultural; the socio-economic; and the intra and inter personal context. Students create or use maps to simulate a hero’s travels and activities. They write speeches about their personal hero for a "selected audience or organization;" They write newspaper articles that address the who, what, where, when, and why of journalism. The students create artistic works that reflect the character and actions of their heroes including poetry, dramatic enactments, storytelling, choreography, composing music and writing lyrics, as well as drawing social commentary cartoons. They use the letters of the alphabet as a framework for identifying their hero’s character traits and moreover they use Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast heroes.

Debate is at the heart of this unit. With their instructor, students defend and explore the heroic character traits of the selected heroes – always asking, "Is this person worthy of being called a real hero?"

In states where social studies standards include state history, this can be a particularly exciting project for both students and instructors. As students choose the person from their state that they feel is a true hero, this can be a wonderful method for the development of sound research skills.

o Unit #26: A National Tradition: Heroes, Holidays & Hoopla

This Companion Unit initiates discussion about the many ways in which heroes are honored. The activities may be used to initiate student research about contemporary holidays, their significance, and when and why they were established.

o Unit #27: Heroes: Generation to Generation

The activities in this Companion Unit help students explore the concept of heroes with members of a different generation. Ideally, the students will explore this concept by interviewing people from a range of generations. In addition to helping the students explore how the concept of heroes changes over time, the activities teach interviewing, recording, and reporting skills.

o Unit #28: The Hero Within Yourself

This Companion Unit is, perhaps, the most important in the collection. The activities help the students make an amazing discovery: they realize that they all have the potential to be heroes. They develop self-respect and respect for others, which enables them to reach out and make a positive difference in the lives of others. Students also learn that they need to stop, look, and assess a situation, and then decide when to act, not act, seek the help of others, and/or tell an adult. The activities reinforce the fact that a hero can be any age, and that an act of heroism can be large or small and can occur frequently or once in a lifetime.

o Unit #29: Educators as Heroes

The purpose of this Companion Unit is to convey to students the realization that many educators are real heroes. Students will identify educators who are special in their lives; interview others about who their favorite educator hero is or was, and analyze why those educators were real heroes; share the information they learn with their classmates; and try to contact the hero educators to let them know what they have meant to them, to others, and to the community.

o Unit #30: Researching Heroes: Ethical Strategies, Tools & Technologies

Good character must exist in all parts of our lives. When conducting research in books or when using any and all available technologies, good character is always important. Students must learn to check their sources, confirm the accuracy of information, recognize "editorial slants or bias," and give appropriate acknowledgement to their sources. They must learn to respect copyrights and learn how to acquire permission to use information or materials when needed. This units helps them learn the correct formats for citations whether from: newspapers; magazines; journals; television; radio; works of art; the Web; monuments; archives; special collections; or from anecdotal reports and interviews. It is important that students learn to draw information from a diverse research base. For younger students, we encourage the instructor to create a scrapbook about heroes. All the directions for this project are included in this unit. Also included are “safe” websites that we have reviewed and recommend.

The Instructor’s Guide

The Instructor’s Guide serves as a ready reference before, during, and after the implementation of HEROES. It offers the following:

1. Program Aims and Goals
2. Expanded “How To Teach HEROES” Options
3. Sequence of Instruction Alternatives and Suggestions
4. Special Events and Projects: Ideas and Coordination Codes
5. Recording Grids: For Curricular Development, Analysis, and
Coordination with Standards
a) Instructional Aims/Goals/Objectives;
b) Content Area Integration;
c) Special Events and Projects;
d) Instructional Formats;
e) Evaluation Strategies and Techniques; and
f) Customization of Grids
6. Additional Creative Instructional Strategies:
a) Clue Boxes
b) Time-Line Expansion
c) Hero Trading Cards (Ready to Reproduce Templates)
d) Bookbinding
e) Hero Quilting
f) Hero Dramatic Productions
g) Heroes Quiz Shows including a ‘Jeopardy Game’ developed by Diane
Blake, a world expert researcher on the life and times of Raoul Wallenberg.
7. A Reproducible STUDY OF HEROES Certificate of Appreciation
8. Observations & Recommendations from those familiar with A STUDY OF HEROES
9. Glossary of Terms
10. References
11. Acknowledgments of Members of the HEROES Pilot School Network

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The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States