Lesson Plan for Grades K-2
Heroes can be powerful role models that help students develop personal values, build self-identity and create goals. In this lesson, students will learn about successful Asian Americans whose accomplishments all students can appreciate. Students will brainstorm what it means to be a hero, discuss the people they admire, and think about the kind of person they would like to be. By sharing their hero stories with the class, students can improve upon their verbal and presentation skills, making this curriculum valuable in a variety of ways.
- English Language Arts #12: Communication Skills
- Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
- Social Studies: from Theme 1 – Culture
- Experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity so that the learner can explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.
- Learn about several accomplished Asian Americans
- Clarify the characteristics of people they admire and why they are heroes
- Share hero stories from their own family backgrounds with their classmates
- Practice research and presentation skills
- Hero cards with photos of five successful Asian Americans
- Wall space in classroom
- Tape or push pins
- Letter to parents
- Handout describing presentation
- White 8-1/2" x 11" paper
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Download the reproducibles.
- Print all the files.
- Cut all the hero cards in half along the dotted lines to separate the portrait photos on the left from the action photos on the right. Please note which action photo matches each portrait photo.
- Take all the action photos and cut along the dotted lines to separate the description of the activity from the photo.
- Write a letter to parents explaining the hero assignment and asking for their help and cooperation. Sample: "Please help your child think about the heroes in his or her own life by choosing a family member, neighbor or celebrity whom s/he admires. Then help your child prepare a short presentation for the class using the handout provided. To help with the presentation, please print on the handout what your child wants to say about this person and include a photo or drawing of the student's hero to display during the presentation."
- Create a handout to send to parents with questions the student should answer in the presentation. Samples: What is the hero's name? Where was your hero born? How old is s/he? Why is your hero special to you? What has your hero done that you admire?
- When the student brings in the completed handout make one copy for each student.
- One sheet of 8-1/2" x 11" paper for each student
- Hero Card: Yul Kwon (Korean) (PDF)
- Hero Card: Suketu Mehta (Indian) (PDF)
- Hero Card: Betty Nguyen (Vietnamese) (PDF)
- Hero Card: Ellison Onizuka (Japanese) (PDF)
- Hero Card: Jerry Yang (Chinese) (PDF)
- Teacher's Guide: About the Heroes (PDF)
Activity #1: "Five Heroes"
- Write "hero" on the white board, and ask students what a hero is. Do they have heroes? Discuss what being a hero means to them.
- Explain that there are many kinds of heroes. For example, some people are famous because they have special talents and excel in their fields, and others are heroes because they help people and are courageous. There are heroes in every country, culture, and neighborhood; they live all around us. Tell students that they will learn about five heroes today.
- Post the portrait photos of the five heroes on the wall. Tell the students you will tell them why the heroes are famous, and the students will guess which description matches which portrait photo after you read each description.
- Use the K-2 Teacher's Guide to tell your students about these five heroes. Students will guess which description matches each portrait. Post the descriptions under the portraits accordingly.
- Ask students if it was easy or hard to decide why each person was famous just by looking at them. Discuss how we cannot judge a person's skills by their appearance, and that we need to get to know a person better to be able to understand their personality and skills. Ask the students for examples of heroes in their lives.
- Select five students to come to the front one at a time, and give each student an action photo. The student will show the action photo to the class, and then post the action photo underneath the matching portrait. Remove the description if it does not match the action photo. The earlier matches may be changed, but in the end five action photos should be matched with five portrait photos. Rearrange the descriptions accordingly.
- Point to each portrait, recite the hero's name together, each hero's accomplishment, and make corrections as necessary. Read additional sentences from the biographies that will be meaningful for your class, especially if the information helps connect these heroes to those in the students' homes or community.
- Explain that although today's heroes are all famous, there are people in the students' families and communities who are good at the same kinds of things. Have students name someone they know who is good at sports or good with computers, for example. Do they know anyone who has helped others in some way? Students should discuss people in their lives who also might be heroes. Emphasize that people can look different, and still be heroes in similar ways. Heroes can come from many different places and still contribute to their country and community.
Activity #2: "Heroes in My Life"
- Ask students who their heroes are and why they admire these people. Tell students that they will work with their parents to pick a hero to profile and prepare a short presentation to the class. Send each student home with the parent letter and worksheet.
- After students pick a hero, have them draw pictures of their heroes in action. Students share their hero stories during circle time or in partners. Display the posters on the wall after the presentations.
Activity #3: "The Hero in Me"
- Now that students have learned about the people the class admires, ask them to think about what kind of hero they want to be. Distribute the white paper and have students draw self-portraits imagining themselves as this kind of hero.
- Students should share their self-portraits in pairs and describe the kind of hero they want to be.
- Post the self-portraits on the wall, which now includes photos of Asian American heroes, people the students admire, and also the students themselves doing heroic things.