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Courage Activities

by | Jun 25, 2020 | Activity | 0 comments

Show the class a piece of paper and a paperback book. Stand the paper on its edge and challenge the class to make the paper hold up the book. See if they can come up with a way to make this happen. The trick is to tightly roll the paper into a tube about an inch or so in diameter. Now the paper will have no problem holding up the book. Sometimes we don’t think we have what it takes to be courageous and do the right thing. But just like the paper, we can turn our weaknesses into strengths if we work on it and create the backbone needed to hold up under pressure.

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • What were your first thoughts when I explained the challenge?
  • After I explained the trick, did you think you were tricked?
  • Do you think others have more courage than they think?
  • Do you think you have more courage than you think?
  • The next time you are fearful, will you remember how the paper rolled into a core and became stronger?

“It’s sad believe me, missy,
When you’re born to be a sissy
Without the vim and verve….”

The Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” sang these words when he met Dorothy in the forest. In the end, we find that the Lion had courage all along, he just didn’t recognize it. Perhaps, being a “sissy” takes courage, if it means not following the crowd if they are doing something wrong.

For this activity, make copies of the Lion in the download below. Make it large enough to write in the Lion’s body if your students are older or large enough to draw in if your students are younger. Instruct the students to record a time when they felt courageous.

Download Lion Worksheet

To process the activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • Did you like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz?
  • Do you feel more like the Lion in the beginning, or the end?
  • Do you have to feel Courageous all the time?
  • Will this exercise help you to remember the Courage that you do have?

When they have finished ask if any want to share their experience.  Ask the students to think back on what motivated them to be courageous. Perhaps they can make that work again for them in the future.

You will need plastic bags, crackers, and markers or paint for this activity. Start a discussion about how fear can hold you back from doing the right thing. Ask for suggestions from the class. You are looking for ideas such as, afraid of standing up for someone being bullied, afraid to tell someone you don’t want to hear gossip, afraid to tell someone you don’t want to do something that is fun but wrong. They do not have to have experienced what they suggest. You are not looking for answers such as afraid to go off the high dive.

Distribute the crackers (matzah crackers work well as they provide a larger surface). Instruct the students to write or paint a symbol of something where fear holds them back from doing the right thing. You can use a single large plastic bag like a freezer bag that you can write on or each student can have their own bag. Have the students make suggestions of things that can help you conquer fears i.e. think positively; picture success; do something small towards your goal; practice in private; find someone who agrees with you; don’t hang around the people who feed your fear, etc. They can write these on their bags or you can write them on the single bag. After you have discussed these strategies place the crackers with the fears written on them inside of the bag and seal it. Now the students can crush the crackers representing their fears. Each student can crush their own or you can pass around the bag for all them to crush. An alternate activity would be to take the crackers outside and let the students crush them with their hands or stamp them with their feet. (If you do it outside, be sure to clean up the mess so birds won’t eat the markers or paint.)

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • Was it hard to come up with a fear?
  • Did you like crushing it?
  • Do you think that sometimes our fears are not as big as we think?
  • Do you feel more courage now that you have named a fear?
  • The next time you need Courage to do the right thing, will you think of the crackers and “crush it”?

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How did these activities go when you used them in your classroom? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!

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