CBL Curriculum Project: Middle School

Courageous Characters Who Take a Stand

In the classic book and movie, “The Wizard of Oz” the lion is in search of courage. In the end, he realizes that he has been courageous all along but did not realize it. Thinking back on your own life, when was a time when you were courageous? You could do a quick internet search and find examples of courage from your neighborhood in South Carolina, across the country in California, or the other side of the world in Hong Kong. Courage is a part of our daily human experience. We often think of courage as big dramatic moments like a woman saving a child from a burning building but courage can also be evident in smaller moments, such as you deciding to sit with the student who usually sits alone at lunch. The big question of this unit is, “what does it really mean to have courage?”

To explore this question, students will analyze a novel with a courageous character as well as read other fiction and nonfiction texts. They will use these various genres as tools to develop an understanding of how courage is inspired, how the settings, interactions between characters, or the situations they face moved them to be courageous. At the end of the unit students will share learning about courage in the form of a literary essay that is grounded in the texts analyzed.