Presenting the stories of three kids who, when faced with a choice, summoned up their courage and rose to the challenge, What Is Courage? Building Character
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” Program Overview2 Why Should Children View This Program?.2 Learning Objectives.2 Program Content..2 Pre-Viewing Questions3 Viewing the Program..4 Discussion Questions.6 Bulletin Board Starters..8 Suggested Activities9 Send-Home Page..11 Take-Home Book..12 Activity Sheets (may be duplicated for class distribution)13 ÒWhat Is Courage?Ó Game Directions..28 Suggested Reading29 Script..34 This program contains: 1 TeacherÕs Guide, 10 Activity Sheets 1 videocassette (approximately 15 minutes long) 1 game 1 poster

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$Asked to define courage, children most often say it is riskingyour life in a dangerous situation to save someone, or standingup against tremendous odds to achieve something significant.But courage has other, more subtle meanings than the one represented by large, exaggerated acts of heroism. What chil-dren may not realize is that courage can also be apparent in theactions of ordinary individuals who find the willpower to show mettle, perseverance, resolution, and fortitude in everydaysituations. Presenting the stories of three kids who, when facedwith a choice, summoned up their courage and rose to the challenge, What Is Courage? Building Character helps stu-dents recognize that courage is not something we are born with,but comes from within us, from the choices we make.Children will:¥discover that there are many ways to demonstrate courage.¥learn the definition of several synonyms for courage. ¥realize that small acts of courage can happen on a daily basis.¥understand that showing mettle, perseverance, resolution or fortitude in everyday situations can beas courageous as facing down danger. ¥recognize that the right choice, at the right time, can make a difference.The program consists of three stories, each concerning an individual who is faced with a situation that requires a demon-stration of courage. A host introduces each of the stories, makes clear what choices the main characters face, and shows whyeach choice takes courage.

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.Host Will Bravado, crack reporter for the Times , opens theprogram by telling viewers about his new assignment, writing accounts for his paper of local kids who have demonstratedcourage in some way. Courage is a pretty big topic, more than just bravery, Will explains, adding that it has lots of synonyms Ñmettle, fortitude, perseverance, and resolution are allexamples. He goes on to introduce stories about three differentkids who by their actions illustrate why these synonyms also represent courage.Mallory has joined her school drama clubÕs production of ÒBluebeard the Pirate,Ó but prefers setting up the lights, makingthe scenery, moving props, and operating the curtain to acting. However, on the afternoon before the performance, Michelle, who has one of the leads, comes down with the flu. SinceMallory has been practicing MichelleÕs part with Allen to help him learn his own lines, Mr. Hammons, the drama coach, and the rest of the cast want Mallory to take over the role. Protest-ing at first that sheÕs needed behind the scenes, Mallory finally agrees, and gets through the dress rehearsal pretty well. But as performance time approaches, fear, doubt and pressure over- whelm her, and she tells Mr. Hammons she canÕt go on. Acknowledging MalloryÕs feelings as understandable, Mr. Hammons explains that everyoneÕs depending on her. ÒIt will take courage for you to go on,Ó Mr. Hammons tells Mallory, Òbut IÕm sure you can do it.Ó At the last minute, Mallory faces down her fears and rises to the challenge, proving her mettle.An on-screen discussion question follows.Displaying a newspaper headline that reads, ÒResolution and Perse- verance Pay Off for Animal Shelter,Ó host Will Bravado defines these two synonyms for courage as making up your mind to achieve a goal

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2Note to Teacher : Questions marked with an * appear on-screenat the end of the scenarios.¥Will Bravado says that courage can mean a lot of different things. Name some of them.¥What does he say the word ÒmettleÓ means? ¥Why do you think Mallory agreed at first to take over MichelleÕs role? Why do you think she changed her mind?¥*Have you ever faced a challenge that required you to show courage like Mallory? What was it? What did you do?¥Were you afraid? Did you have doubts about your ability to meet this challenge? Did you feel pressure?What did you do to overcome these feelings? ¥What does Will Bravado say ÒperseveranceÓ and ÒresolutionÓ mean?¥Why do you think Alex decided to make saving the shelter his goal? Should he have been discouraged thatneither the shelterÕs director nor his father could think of any way to save it? Why or why not?¥Alex had one idea after another for raising money, but the last one, the poster contest, brought in the biggest amounts. Why do you think this one worked?¥Do you think Alex and his friends would have been able to achieve their goal of saving the shelter if they hadnÕt had a positive attitude?¥Alex did not get discouraged when his first fund-raising efforts didnÕt pay off and when his sister didnÕt encourage

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3 him to succeed. Discuss how the words ÒdiscourageÓ andÒencourageÓ relate to courage.¥*Have you ever been in a situation where resolution and perseverance helped you achieve a goal? What was it?What did you do?¥How does Will Bravado define the word ÒfortitudeÓ? ¥Have you ever been in a situation where a group of kids picked on one kid? Describe the situation. Was any- one willing to stand up for the victim? What wasthe outcome?¥Why do you think Kyra felt bad when the other kids made fun of Melanie?¥Why did Kyra feel torn? What did she think would happen if she spoke up in MelanieÕs behalf? ¥Discuss why it takes courage to stand up for what you believe is right.¥*Have you ever been in a situation that required you to show courage like Kyra? What was it? What did you do?¥Will Bravado says that courage is a choice that comes from within. Explain.

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4Invite students to choose one of the synonyms for couragementioned in the video and draw a picture of someone whodisplays it. Tack the finished pictures to the bulletin board. Label a bulletin board ÒListening to My Strong SideÓ andplace a stack of blank paper nearby. Invite children to use the paper to write about a situation in which they listened totheir strong side, kept a positive attitude, and persevered despite setbacks. Tack the finished stories to the bulletin board.Put a heading on the bulletin board labeled ÒCourage Is . . .Óand let children write their own single-sentence definition.Display the definitions under the heading.ÒResolution and Perseverance Pay Off for Animal ShelterÓ isthe headline for one of the acts of courage described in thevideo. Invite children to write their own headline describingan act of courage, either one of those shown in the video, or one they make up themselves. Display the headlines on thebulletin board.

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5 The video mentions four synonyms for courage found in athesaurus: mettle, perseverance, resolution, and fortitude. Butthere are other equally good synonyms. Such words as spirit,tenacity, persistence, guts, fearlessness, intrepidness, self-reli- ance, resilience are some others. Ask children to choose any oneof these synonyms, look up its meaning in a dictionary, and write a short story using it to share with the class. Ask children what they think is the meaning of the phrase ÒCourage is a choice.Ó Facilitate the discussion by helping them talk about why it takes courage to stand up alone for what youthink is right. Have each child write a story about a real or imagined situation that called for this kind of courage. Have them describe what happened, what they did about it, and if they did nothing, what they now wished they had done aboutit. If students wish, have them share their stories with the class.Television cartoons for children often depict feats of derring-do in which ÒsuperheroesÓ miraculously jump through windows oracross rooftops, walk through fire, or engage in high-speed chases, always escaping unharmed. Have children create theirown four-panel cartoons, using balloon dialogue and featuringa superhero who performs a small but realistic act of courage in an everyday situation. Such situations might be standing up to a bully, including a shy new classmate in a groupÕs activities, resisting pressure to do something dangerous, disagreeing with someone and risking that personÕs friendship, and so on. Dis- play the finished cartoons on the bulletin board.On the chalkboard, write the words, ÒIt would take courage toÉÓ Hand out an index card to each child and have them

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