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Friday, January 14, 2011

Finding Heroes

In conjunction with an inquiry learning project about heroes, some second graders visited the library this afternoon. They have been defining what a hero does, what heroic acts might be, and what makes an ordinary person do heroic things. We all know about comic book heroes. We read about heroes in newspaper articles and hear about them on television. The children have very definite ideas of what is and is not acceptable in the realm of heroism. And their teacher reminded them that as they review possible people for their research questions, they need to keep those definitions and ideas at the forefront of their thoughts.

One child loves STAR WARS and was reminded that those characters would not count for this project. A big groan escaped from the child. The shoulders drooped. "What about someone who studied outerspace or an astronaut or a pilot?" I asked. The shoulders rose. The voice gained enthusiasm. I suggested several people, but the child asked about Amelia Earhart and quickly located the perfect book. Mark Twain. Albert Einstein. Jane Goodall. Many more followed and remained engrossed for the rest of the afternoon.

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