Students read a short story booklet regarding the actions of Laura Secord during the war of 1812. Using a research organizer, students determine the descriptive adjectives that Laura embodies which make her heroic.
Finally, students write a clear and well-organized persuasive paragraph arguing whether or not Laura is a hero using a fully articulated writing organizer.
This lesson can be done quickly, or extended as a more in-depth investigation of heroic qualities and persons, and the writing portion can (and has in my classes), been used as an easy introduction to a 5-paragraph essay format.
The story of Laura Secord is an engaging one, and the task simple enough for students to focus on improving their ability to communicate in a clear and organized manner.
It's a winner.