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Unit 4

Choose Your Voice


  • Identify strategies for responding to incidents of bigotry and discrimination that promote peace.
  • Identify and understand the choices that people can make when confronted with incidents of bigotry and discrimination.

Print the UNIT 4 Lesson Plan as PDF


Print the UNIT 4 Glossary as PDF


  • Video 4
  • Lesson Plan
  • Video Discussion Guide
  • Choose Your Voice Student Pledge Certificate
  • What is a Hero? handout
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Choose Your Voice worksheet
  • Rubric 4

Fact Sheets on real-life heroes of human rights:

  • Real-World Hero: Viola Desmond 1914-1965
  • Real-World Hero: Oskar Schindler 1908-1974
  • Real-World Hero: Madeleine Parent 1918-2012
  • Real-World Hero: Antonine Maillet b.1929
  • Real-World Hero: Naomi Segal-Bronstein 1946-2010
  • Real-World Hero: Lincoln Alexander 1922-2012
  • Real-World Hero: Nellie McClung 1873-1951
  • Real-World Hero: Bromley Armstrong 1926-2018
  • Real-World Hero: Jean Lumb 1919-2002
  • Real-World Hero: Sempo Sugihara 1900-1986
  • Real-World Hero: Maurice “The Rocket” Richard 1921-2000
  • Real-World Hero: Ryan White 1971-1990

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”

– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

Unit 4 Lesson Plan

This unit begins with a video and classroom discussion about people who have stood up to intolerance and hatred. Students explore what it means to be a hero and how they can make a difference in the world.


Video Discussion Guide

Ask students to consider and discuss the following questions:

  1. Elizabeth Moore formerly belonged to the Heritage Front, a white supremacist group that hated everyone who was different from them. Why do you think people might be attracted to such groups?
  2. Elizabeth pointed out that choosing your voice can be really hard because it often means not following the crowd. It takes special courage, for example, to report cases of bullying. If you witness a classmate being intimidated or attacked, or if you are such a victim, what are your options?
  3. Len Rudner remembers the woman behind the door, who refused to get involved when he was being beaten up as a child. What do you think that woman was thinking?


Get students thinking about what it means to be a hero

  1. Ask students to name their favourite superheroes (e.g., Spiderman, Wonder Woman, X-Men, Galaxy Rangers, Buffy). Share who some of your own heroes are with the class.

Ask what these superheroes have in common and what makes them superheroes. Create a simple T-Chart (as follows) to help with the discussion.

Superhero Names:
What do superheroes have in common? (e.g., super-human powers, altruistic, fight evil, never die) What do superheroes have in common? (e.g., super-human powers, altruistic, fight evil, never die)





2. Distribute Fact Sheets on the real-life heroes to each group.

Groups will review the Fact Sheet information and make a list of the characteristics displayed by these people (e.g., normal people doing great things; identified a problem and tried to find a solution; committed to an ideal or a humanitarian cause; had a vision of a better world).



3. Ask the following questions and list more attributes on the board:

  • How are the real-life heroes you just read about different from superheroes (e.g., they have only human powers, they have emotions like fear, they look like you and me)?
  • How do real-life heroes deal with situations in which a dominant group limits the rights of others?
  • What activities about inclusiveness can we learn from the experiences of these real-life heroes (e.g., incidents might not happen if people recognize that any group can be targeted by hatred)?
  • How do these real-life heroes model good citizenship?




Have students think about the roles we play

  • Explain that each of the real-life heroes was involved in a situation that included perpetrators, victims and bystanders.
  • Have each group identify the perpetrators, victims and bystanders in their research.

Teaching Consideration

Focus on the choices that bystanders have to make in certain situations.

Remind students that taking action can mean many different things – from telling a teacher about an incident involving bullying to standing up for someone who is being bullied; from helping someone in a wheel-chair navigate his or her way into the school to starting a club to improve your school’s wheel-chair accessibility.




Debrief and Consolidate

Inspire students to think of themselves as heroes

Distribute the Choose Your Voice handout

  • Ask students to fill out the handout individually, describing situations in which they can be a “real-life hero.”
  • Pair students so that they can compare lists and then formulate one combined list.
  • Pair students with other pairs (four students per group) and again compare their lists and formulate one combined list.
  • Asks the groups of four to share their lists with the class to formulate one large list.

Teaching Consideration

Consider pairing second language learners with partners who can be supportive.




Create posters that illustrate the “voice” of a hero

Distribute and discuss the evaluation criteria before the students begin to work.

The list of situations in which they could be real-life heroes, developed in the Debrief and Consolidate part of the activity, will help students in designing their posters.

1. Pre-production Decisions

Before the students begin to produce their posters, spend time examining a number of posters that promote an idea or product, or that attempt to persuade the viewer to take some form of action. Point out the different features of posters with students and the different functions that posters serve in our society. Discuss the “voice” that dominates the poster and how this is achieved. As well, draw the students’ attention to any persuasive techniques they notice in the posters they are examining. Be sure to hang the posters around the classroom for students to use as references when they produce their own.

2. Production

Create a poster to inspire other students to become involved in making the world a better place. Your poster should illustrate an opportunity – in your community, at school, with friends, or in your family – to choose to be a real-life hero.

3. Post-production

The posters developed by the students should be displayed in a prominent place within the school.



Please see the Curriculum Connections page for the evaluation criteria addressed in this unit.

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