Heroism: For Social/Emotional Learning and Character Education (Elementary Students)

Use these lesson plans and activities to celebrate the best of humanity while promoting Social-Emotional Learning and Character Education.

Early Elementary Resources



Students view these two short films, Mig Said Series: Let's be Friends and The Chameleon's True Colors. Each film celebrate friendship, diversity and individuality. Then students consider the following questions:

What are some things about you that are different from your friends?

Why is it important to have friends who are different than we are?

What color is your skin? Hair? Eyes?

Do your friends have the same skin, hair and eye color? 

Discuss how we are all different and that all colors are beautiful.





Mig Said Series: Lets be Friends
Credit: Produced by Mig Jou
The Chameleon's True Colors
Credit: Carolyn Downie

You are Special Short Film Link
Credit: Produced by: Sherryn Sim


The short film You Are Special was created as part of a special outreach program along with the Young Writers Program, and promoted in the "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign.

Students watch this short film that demonstrates that everyone is special and important in their own way. After viewing the film, encourage students to discuss what is special about themselves and their classmates. Create a bulletin board. 

Upper Elementary Resources


 The four competencies used in many school system SEL programs are:
  1. "GROWTH MINDSET: The belief that one’s abilities can grow with effort. A "fixed mindset" means you tell yourself things are the way they are and always will be."  A "growth mindset" means you tell yourself there can be positive change.
  2. SELF-EFFICACY: The belief in one’s own ability to succeed in achieving an outcome or reaching a goal.  This powerful core value can be seen in stories of endurance and perseverance.
  3. SELF-MANAGEMENT: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. When you look at MY HERO media with students, stop and ask them to speculate about the emotions and thoughts of the heroes based on their behavior.
  4. SOCIAL AWARENESS: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.  MY HERO stories, films, art, and audio come from around the world, presenting diverse cultures, offering a wealth of material to use in discussing social awareness issues with students.


Jackie McMahon's film "The Buddy Club" won first place in the Middle School category in the MY HERO International Film Festival.

The film examines an after-school program started by Jackie’s sister Katie, which pairs students with disabilities with other students with whom they normally would not have class. The program promotes the building of a community within High School that can stand against attempts at bullying and other anti-social behavior.

Students are encouraged to think of ways they can connect with other students, those with disabilities or in a different grade. Share their efforts with MY HERO.

The Buddy Club

Produced by:Jackie McMahon

The Buddy Club Film Link

Students watch the short film Dodged, an example of anti-bullying and class community spirit. 

After viewing the film, students discuss times that they or others have stood up to bullying or were supportive to others. 


Produced by:Maya Götz
A compelling anti-bullying story from Thailand.

After watching the following short PSA, New Together, students consider a time they were new to something to gain a better understanding of how a person immigrating from another country would feel.  Although this features younger children, it is appropriate for all grade levels.  

New Together

Produced by:Max Landwirth

For World Refugee Day, let's face the new together and stand with refugees. (Run time. 1:15 minutes)

Students watch the short music video Stand Up performed by elementary students at Girard College Lower School. 

The song Stand Up was written by Paul M. Eaton for his students at Girard College Lower School in response to their association with the National Liberty Museum and being exposed to their message of "Live Like A Hero". Throughout the museum the displays contained a message of lives that were lived with purpose and a regard for others that came with personal sacrifice. This message teaches that we can all do something to change our world for the better through service, sacrifice, love and care for each other. 

Stand Up

Produced by:Girard College Lower School

This song was written by Paul M. Eaton for his students at Girard College Lower School. 

The stories below have text with audio allowing younger students to listen as they read along.

Hannah Taylor

When Hannah was 6 years old, she created the Ladybug Foundation to help end homelessness.

Ruby Nell Bridges

By: Madison

One of the most important heroes in the fight against segregation in America was 6 year-old girl, Ruby Nell Bridges.

Use the two stories on the left to begin discussing the four competencies in most SEL programs:

            Growth Mindset


          Self Management

          Social Awareness. 


Class and School Wide Projects

Call to Action Kindness Project Film Link
Credit: Gillum's Class

Inspire your students by watching this film, Call to Action Kindness Project. This film shows the efforts of students in 6th grade sharing ways to be kind with 2nd grade children in order to promote a more positive culture in their school and community in Ontario, California. 

What can your students do to promote kindness and be a positive role model for younger students? Share your project with MY HERO.




This photo shows kids in 2nd, 4th and 6th grade working on kindness letters as a way to combat bullying with kindness. The project consisted of the children picking a name of a fellow club member out of a bag and making them an encouraging card. Every child, 80 in total, participated in making at least one card and receiving one.

Your students are encouraged to work on letters and cards to promote kindness and within their school community. This can be done as a class activity or older students writing cards for younger students.

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach TLC Branch
Credit: Dalene Hamer
Sticky notes promote acts of kindness in schools
Credit: Students at Dixie Bee Elementary School

Students at Dixie Bee Elementary School in Terre Haute, Indiana post positive messages about fellow classmates and the school's staff. SPPRAK, Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness, a local not-for-profit, sponsored this program that literally 'notes' random acts of kindness by students, teachers, and staff.

Organizer created on 7/6/2020 9:32:57 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 7/15/2020 3:34:15 PM by Laura Nietzer