The tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the heroic acts performed by firefighters, police, and medical personnel caused nearly all Americans to begin reevaluating the characteristics of a hero. Morris Plains Education Association (Morris County) members Chastity Vesceri, Kara Cazzetto, and Cathie Kelly believe it's important that children recognize and appreciate the everyday heroes in their own lives. Their project, I Know a Hero, created for 4th graders is funded through a $3,750 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.
General and special education students at the Borough School will learn how everyday heroes shape their development as human beings as they study language arts, reading, public speaking, and technology.
Students will begin this project learning about the fourteen (14) character traits common to heroes. A series of writing assignments throughout the year will focus on the character traits and their application to famous Americans and individuals who have had an impact on children's lives.
Students will concentrate their readings and writings on the following areas:
- heroes who have overcome physical handicaps;
- famous American Presidents of the United States;
- African-Americans relative to the study of Black History Month;
- everyday heroes in students' personal lives.
Specific projects will include:
- a family forum featuring an inspirational speaker who suffers from paralysis;
- a six-week book report project that includes creating magazine covers and articles about famous people; an interview with the subject - whether living or dead; a news article about a historically significant event during that person's life; oral reports at a parent reception;
- a month-long study of the contributions of women in society (Women's History Month); essays about women who have influenced the students' lives;
- a study of a hero in their everyday lives; students will write a personal essay on the individual and create a pictorial essay for inclusion in a publication that will be made available at a "Heroes Breakfast" which will include a Power Point Presentation in honor of each child's hero.
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