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Gateway to the Summer Games - Lesson Plans
Heroes and Heroines
The Spirit of the Olympic Games
  Grade Level: 6
Subject: Social Studies, P.E., Art, English, Music
Time needed: 3 X 45 min. sections
Lesson Overview

Identifying the traits of positive and diverse role models.

Background Information

Young people today are faced with an increasingly fractured world where a variety of forces work to shape their final character. Positive role models like parents, teachers, and athletes are important for children because these role models help to create a web of safety for each child. Children also need to learn that peoples of all ethnicities can contribute to building a positive society in which to live. The Olympic sports have helped to foster an understanding between people of various ethnicities and nationalities.


Students will consider the qualities and characteristics of heroes/heroines. Students will identify heroes/heroines in their own life experiences or through personal research. Students will be challenged to foster the positive and supportive characteristics of heroes/heroines in their own lives.


Video Segment #3: The Spirit of the Olympic Winter Games. Video available from Griffin Publishing Group at
(Note: While the video segment is a good addition to this lesson plan, it is not essential for successful completion of the activities).
KSL TV Editorial Comment, October 6, 1994: PRAISE FOR DIVERSITY
Data Sheet: What Is A Hero?
Various age-level resource texts about heroes/heroines from a variety of walks of life.

Procedures Suggested Lesson Plan:

Show Video Segment #3: The Spirit of the Winter Olympic Games. Focus on the clip near the beginning that discusses the struggles athletes often experience in order to succeed in their chosen sports.

Discuss the attributes of a successful athlete in the Olympic Games.


Discuss the definitions of heroes/heroines found on the Data Sheet: What is a Hero?

Discuss the questions listed on the Data Sheet and give examples of the many groups of individuals who can be heroes/heroines to children: parents, teachers, church leaders, civic leaders, athletes, etc.

Answer the question, " What can we learn about heroes from people who are different than us?"

Student Products

Students will research a hero or heroine of their choice and come to school in the costume and character of that person, prepared to present a first-person account of their life to the class.

Additional Activities

Art: Students may draw pictures or do sculptures of outstanding people in their lives, and explain why they are important to them.

Language Arts: (1) Students will write stories or poems involving a hero, or tell of a time in their own lives when they were heroes/heroines. (2) Students will write an original poem or legend about a hypothetical hero/heroine. (3) Students will write personal stories about a hero/heroine in their own families. (4) Students will read books and stories that tell of heroes and heroines.

Sports: Hold an Olympic-style sports competition. Have students practice good sportsmanship and exemplary behavior during the competition that would be consistent with that of a hero/heroine.

Social Studies/History: Discuss qualities of outstanding people in history, politics, or current national heroes/heroines.

Drama: Write plays or find and perform plays that depict heroic behavior.

Science: Have students identify outstanding heroes/heroines in science and do a research study of their lives and contributions. Classes could plan a follow-up share fair, wherein students make models or science projects based on a given hero/heroine's field of emphasis.

Music: Have students select a hero/heroine from the music world, tell why they have selected that person, and share some of the music and instruments from that person's time.

(c) 1996 By Griffin Publishing / United States Olympic Committee

Published by Griffin Publishing under license from the United States Olympic Committee. This publication is a creative work fully protected by all applicable rights. All rights reserved. A classroom teacher may reproduce copies of the material in this book for classroom use only.

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