Elementary children are constantly on the hunt for heroes. At this social stage of development, they have an acute sense of justice and passion and look for people who possess positive qualities to model.
One of our roles as adults is to expose children to a variety of possible heroes. We can introduce them through books, songs, storytelling, and casual observations. Heroes and heroines are all around us! How thankful are we for mail carriers who deliver our mail despite the rain? Or for the kind nurse who helps us when we feel sick?
In the classroom, introducing heroes is two-fold. First, we want to appeal to the child’s natural desire to find those who exemplify greatness. Then, we research these heroes as a way to better understand our shared history. In the upper elementary classrooms today, the children dressed up and presented reports on historical figures to their peers as part of our annual History Mystery event.
The children will share a person’s life story and greatest accomplishments. We hope this, in turn, inspires them to think of ways they can contribute to making the world a better place in the future.