Who are the Heroes of Today?
All cultures and societies have produced heroes, including folk, military, religious, political, and artistic heroes. We know about these heroes from the many books, stories, myths and songs written about them and movies we see about them. They inspire us, instill pride in us, and sometimes make us cry and other times make us cheer. Most of all, they model what we desire to achieve in our own lives.
Discuss with students the controversy about young people and heroes. Is it true that kids these days have no heroes or that the “heroes” they do have are not good role models? Do young people today have heroes? Who are they? What makes them heroes to young people? Why would people say that some modern heroes are not good role models? Who are some famous people that have both good and bad sides to them? Are there any historical figures that students recognize as heroes? What makes them heroes?
Host a ‘Greatest Hero’ Trial
- Have students gather in groups by common hero.
- Challenge each group to come up with a variety of reasons why their hero should be considered the greatest.
- Have one group at a time present their reasons and arguments.
- After each has presented, groups can offer rebuttals; further reasons their hero outshines the others.
- Either the teacher or a volunteer student group serves as the jury to decide which group gave the strongest argument for their hero to be considered the greatest.