7.4  Lesson Three – Following in big footsteps

Time required: 60 minutes
Materials required: chart paper and marker pens

Teacher instructions:

In this lesson, the students interface their personal “rules for living” with those of famous historical personages. It is important that the teacher use the language of “rules for living” in this lesson in order to connect the students to the content of both past and future lessons.

Some of the research projects on famous people that were done or assigned in the previous lesson (Lesson Two) are now delivered orally by the students. Chart paper can be used to record values, principles and “rules for living” that guided the lives of these individuals so that these values can be compared and contrasted.

The oral presentations are followed by a discussion. The students are invited to think back to the previous section of the unit where they were asked to reflect on the “rules” or values that guide their lives. Chart paper records from that section can be posted.

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The following questions may aid the teacher in stimulating discussion:

  • Do you feel that your values or rules for living are much different from the individual you studied or the other individuals you heard about in the presentations by your fellow students? If yes, explain. If no, explain.
  • Can you summarize in one word, phrase or sentence, the values and principles of the person you studied?
  • As you listened to the reports about other famous people, did you notice values or rules for living that showed up more than once, or, perhaps many times? What are these? (These values can be recorded on chart paper.)
  • In their efforts to be true to their own values, principles and rules for living, these individuals often took great risks. Some risked their lives. Some were even killed for their commitment. Why do you think that these people exemplified such great courage and were willing to take such great risks? In other words, how did these individuals find the courage to do things that other people find so hard to do? Or find impossible to do?
  • Are there times when you find it hard to follow your own personal rules and values? Explain.
  • Has anyone ever praised you for, or complimented you on, your values and your ability to live them out? Explain.
  • Can you think of one or two occasions when someone challenged you to change your principles or values? Explain.
  • Have you ever lost a friend because you stuck to your principles? As a result of sticking to your own principles, have you ever lost something that is important to you, for example, an opportunity to do something you really wanted to do? If yes, explain.
  • What would the world be like if there were more people like the person you studied? Explain.
  • Has this person that you studied had any influence on your life? If yes, what has it been? Explain.
  • Would you like to become more like this person? Explain.
  • Why did you pick this person?
  • By sticking to their values and rules for living, did this person change society? Explain.
  • By studying one individual and listening to the reports about others, has this caused you to think about your own rules, values, and guidelines for living? Explain.

Journal activity – let’s write about it!

For journal questions to stimulate the students’ written reflections after or during class, see Appendix 4.