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Historica Canada Education Portal

"Who's Your Hero?"

  • Research and Writing
  • Intermediate – Middle School

This lesson plan was created by members of Historica Canada’s teacher community. Historica Canada does not take responsibility for the accuracy or availability of any links herein, and the views reflected in these learning tools may not necessary reflect those of Historica Canada. We welcome feedback regarding the content that may be linked to or included in these learning tools; email us at


Students will research and examine the qualities of a past or present hero in Canada. They will develop a personal definition of a hero, while working on a project that represents a Canadian Hero. Students will be provided with a project framework to guide them through the research process. After completing the research framework each student will represent their hero in their choice of medium. Projects can range from electronic, video based, posters, to drama and song.


•Examine personal qualities of why an individual is a hero and why he/she was chosen

•Gather and record a body of information from primary, secondary print, non-print, and electronic sources

•Organize information into a formal presentation using several forms of representation

•Locate and describe current and historical events



Part I Introduction/Trigger:

a. On classroom projector/TV play the following short video clip (Superman Heritage Minute) or a slide show of “Heroes” .

b. Class brain-storm: What do you think we are going to learn about? Who do you think is a hero? What about past or present hero’s? Create a list of known past & present heroes. Write student example(s) on the board.

c. Why are these people heroes?

d. Split students into groups provide chart paper and have them make their own “definition” of a hero. What are some qualities of a hero? Examples of actions, i.e. Risk takers Each group will present their definitions. Once the groups have presented their “definitions” read the following of a hero: “A hero is someone who is willing to put himself on the line to help others. Heroes are often ordinary people who make extraordinary decisions in times of crisis.”

PART II – Representing Hero Project

Students will be given the following choices to represent their hero in a creative way.

Option A Working from their completed project framework template, student will use the computer lab and library to create a short slide show about their hero. They will be encouraged to include pictures, written work, and scanned personal drawings.

Option B Working from their completed project framework template student will perform a short play about their hero to either be recorded or performed in class.

Option C Working from their completed project framework template student will create a bulletin board or large poster about their hero. Pictures and description must be included.


The overall project will be evaluated in 3 formats.

a. Individual/Self Project Evaluation 
b. Overall Criteria Rubric 
c. Anecdotal Participation & Effort

Suggested Materials:

• Chart paper • Felt pens • Projector & laptop or DVD/TV • Other materials needed may vary, i.e. drama-costume box


• Invite dignitaries, elders for their stories (Consider The Memory Project or Passages Canada)

• Draw a picture of a made up hero with at least one power (30 min)

• Parent’s night/open house • Drama or role play from instructor – student directed

• 1 pg biography on a personal, community, Provincial, Canadian and International heroes

• Compare your chosen hero with personal criteria with a Community, Canadian, International hero with different criteria. i.e. ‘unreal’ verses realistic criteria from real life examples.

• Question or Assignment: Extraordinary Canadians who have had a global impact (noble prize winners)

• Specific persons and subject matter, i.e. Prime Ministers - contributions

Superman Heritage Minute: