Abraham Lincoln

The Structure of A Study of Heroes

A STUDY OF HEROES is a classroom-tested program that readily fits into existing curricula. The program includes an Instructor's Guide; 22 Hero Profile Units (approximately 60 pages each) containing an array of student activities and worksheets that integrate skill areas such as history, reading, creative writing, political/social topics, debate, conflict resolution, the arts, research, character education and service learning; additionally, there are eight Companion Units.

The instructional materials are developed for three readability levels and all three levels of reading are included in each unit. These materials can be easily adapted for use with varying skill levels or to reinforce content skills or concepts. Educators can elect to use any or all of the HEROES units, in any order.

Rather than the inflexible, tightly sequenced, and prescriptive design of many curricula, the HEROES Program units provide teachers from Kindergarten-12 and Adults, community organizations, and scouting/youth groups with an abundance of easy to use, unique resources. The program materials are content-rich and draw heavily upon both the cognitive, affective, inquiry and psycho-motor domains. Resources such as A STUDY OF HEROES encourage the instructor to become a creative instructional decision maker. The instructor "owns" the program and determines when and how HEROES is employed; we know that the instructors are most familiar with their own academic priorities and time constraints. This program is a time saver, is enjoyable for the instructor to use, and is highly engaging for students of all ages. Support for the program's format came from general education, bilingual, remedial, and "gifted and talented" teachers, as well as from school specialists in the pilot schools.

The more than 2000 pages of instructional resources are unbound for flexibility and ease of use. All materials are copyrighted to be reproduced for use within the building for which HEROES was purchased.  The entire resource collection itself is packaged in binders to facilitate both storage and use.  

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Focus of the Program

All elements of the reproducible program reinforce basic skills, encourage family involvement and intergenerational discussion about the character of heroes. It provides motivational and creative activities for students, stimulates social problem-solving strategies, encourages "invention," brings the community into the classroom and vice versa, permits flexible instruction, and includes many ways to say "thank you" to all who participate in the HEROES Program. Character education, nonviolent conflict resolution strategies, and service learning are at the heart of this program.  

Variety in Interdisciplinary Instructional Formats

The program resources incorporate many subject areas, including language arts, history, fine arts, social studies, performing arts, journalism, geography, reading, poetry, storytelling, oration, creative writing, and mathematics. Instructors have the opportunity to use the resources in a variety of instructional formats, including whole class instruction, small groups, cooperative learning, independent study, committee or club work, and community service.  

Special Projects and Events

An array of special projects and events highlight the students' work, included are activities, such as: a "Heroes Fair"; a "Heroes Quilt"; original songs and theatrical productions; a "Heroes Garden"; community surveys; dioramas; social commentary cartoons; interpretive dances; letter writing; murals; a "Heroes Hall of Fame"; photo essays; debates; role-plays; puppet shows; creative research and technological projects.  

A Complement to Existing Curricular Requirements

This collection of instructional resources bolster and complement existing curricular requirements, particularly those in character education and conflict resolution currently being enacted in many states. To complement most curricular guidelines and to address the standards, the program provides the following emphases:

1. The hero within yourself; 2. The hero in the school, community, culture, and world; 3. Differences between the "hero" and the "celebrity"; 4. Biographical sketches of real heroes; 5. Research methodologies, technologies, and ethics.  

Rosa Parks

Empowerment of Individuals

A STUDY OF HEROES goes far beyond simply reading historical biographies. It is not just about the past. This program emphasizes the present and the future. It enriches people's lives. It requires the appreciation of historical context. But, perhaps most important, it inspires students to discover their inner strengths, compassion for others, a sense of right and wrong, strategies for resisting negative peer pressure, a celebration of diversity, a tolerance for diversity, and the realization that every individual has the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  

A Multicultural Focus

Among the selected heroes are men and women from different historical periods and many regions of the world, people of various ages, different races, diverse religions, and numerous ethnicities and cultures. These people did not plan to become heroes, but they found themselves in positions in which often serendipitous circumstances offered them the opportunity to act heroically. Some gave their lives for the benefit of others; several performed simple acts of kindness that affected others in a positive way. All provide positive role models for students everywhere.

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The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States

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