We all know these persons are heroes...


But do these folks look like heroes to you?




hero n, pl heroes 1 a: a mythological or legendary figure, often endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievement and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage


heroic adj 1:resembling heroes, esp. of antiquity 2:aexhibiting or marked by courage and daring b supremely noble or self-sacrificing 3: of impressive size, power, extent, or effect


hero worship n 1: veneration of a hero 2: foolish or excessive adulation of an individual


(Merriam Webster�s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, copyright 1994, Merriam-Webster, Inc.)


�Hey, guy!You�re my hero!�


The word hero has become so common that TV sportscasters say this at almost every game when they refer to a superior athlete.In fact, we often hear somebody on the streets call a friend or acquaintance his or her �hero.�


Ever since we were children, we have been told about heroes.Ever since September 11, 2001, the newspapers have shown us pictures of heroic police, firefighters, rescue workers and victims at the tragic World Trade Center crisis.We have learned about other heroes from the TV and newspapers.They come from the worlds of history, sports, politics, science, and perhaps the movies.Many feel that only special historical events create heroes.


However, some say that these definitions of heroes are false, and nothing but �hero-worship� as defined in definition 2, above.They say that true heroism, the act of being a hero, is what so-called �everyday people� do every day and night, all over the world.They say true heroism is really people�s actions and decisions, some little, some big.They say it never gets on TV and into newspapers.They sing of unsung heroes.


Task:We will investigate, compare and contrast these different concepts of �hero, heroism and hero-worship.�


Purpose:Adult learners will compare and contrast �mainstream media�-disseminated images of heroes and heroism with images of heroes and heroism arising from the daily lives of the learners and others in their community.


Process:DRTAs (Directed Reading/Writing/Thinking Activities)

Strategy:KWL (What I Know, What I Want or Need to Know, What I Learned).


        Pre-activity:��� Whole group brainstorms and mind-maps the concept, �Hero.�Facilitator can spur discussion with pointed questions such as, �A firefighter at the WTC senses the imminent collapse, dumps his/her gear and runs out at the last moment.Is s/he a hero?�Learners develop a rubric of qualities defining heroes/heroism.


The learners are directed to select one or more articles each from the Internet.These

Resources will be articles, poems, graphics, songs, which evoke widely varying �hero models.��� Post-reading activities (possibly more writing, discussion and/or loosely-structured debate)will lead to learners� interviewing local people and creating



Product:Writing pieces describing heroism in their own communities.


Evaluation:Judging of a writing contest by learners, facilitator and perhaps others in community.Rubric determined by all participants.Winning pieces will be published on class web page.Will culminate in prizes (group and individual).Possibilities:field trip to Schomberg Library, movie tickets of winner�s choice..


Length of Webquest:Three to four weeks.


Last updated January 20, 2002

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