Teach everyone from Alexander Hamilton to Michael Jordan in this study of American history by challenging your students to develop and authentically present their own definition of a hero.
2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom cohort
Madam CJ Walker
Dust Bowl survivors
Members of the Greatest Generation
Past Medal of Freedom recipients, including John Glenn, Joe DiMaggio, and Georgia O’Keeffe
Culminate students’ learning with:
A document-based essay, supported by an outline template and sentence stems, that requires them to encapsulate their understanding of the entire unit by arguing their answer to the simple question, “What makes an American hero?”
A two-part authentic product, supported by rubrics, models, and skill builder mini-lessons, that challenges students to brainstorm, research, and nominate their living hero to the President of the United States to receive the next Medal of Freedom and to craft a genuine thank you card to their nominee for their impactful and inspiring accomplishments
realizing and seeking inspiration from the commonalities among successful people in order to leave one’s own impact on the world.
No nation is founded more on the idea that the commoner has the ability to be great than the U.S. Centuries have proven that hard work, passion, and a few good ideas all mix to form the American hero. Take your students on a quest through our revolutionary foundations and the last century, exploring various spotlights on individuals and groups and asking students to decide, “Are they heroes?”
Leave the boring chronological textbook behind and head straight to the compelling sources that make this question central to our imagination and inspiration as Americans, and empower your students to engage in real conversation with real audiences.
The beauty of a thematic unit is your freedom to mix-and-match, add-and-subtract: each activity is self-contained, allowing for complete customization to meet local standards, time restraints, and interests
Included in this complete unit:
- Unit overview and detailed daily lesson plans for each sub-topic activity from the unit’s hook to the final project, with strategies for implementing each activity to maximize student talk and deep thinking
- Graphic organizer and concept definition sheet for unit-long note taking
- 8 distinct sub-topic activities (1-3 class periods each) with student worksheets, supplemental resources, and links to additional online and copyrighted resources
- 4 supplemental skill building mini-lessons to support the required reading, writing, and researching skills needed
- Essay outline and rubric, aligned with Common Core standards
- Project direction sheet and rubric, with examples and tips, aligned with Common Core standards
Only have a week or two? Try the mini-unit version of this project!
Who is My American Hero?:
include concept definition sheet, quote mixer activity, 2016 PMF activity, and complete project. Makes a fantastic end-of-the-year project!