Special Olympics Indiana
Education, English Language Arts, Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Upper Primary
3, 4, 5
  • Community Influence
  • Epic
  • Erskine
  • Inclusion
    Creative Commons Attribution

    Bravery Mini-lessons Series

    Bravery Mini-lessons Series


    In this lesson, students will learn about their classmates and teacher in a way that builds community and cohesiveness in the learning environment. Using the book, Playing for Change, students will discuss differences in the characters who were accepted and those who were not. In pulling these elements out of the plot, students will then identify differences in themselves that possibly relate to others in the classroom. 

    Lesson Overview

    Please adapt the lesson activity to fit your students' abilities and interests.


    In this set of mini-lessons, students will discuss, collaborate, and complete activities based on Carl Erskine’s Core Value of Bravery. Each mini-lesson will consist of a 10-minute instruction and a 20-minute student-centered activity. Times can be adjusted or extended as needed. Lessons build upon each other and should be completed in order.

    Lessons are based on excerpts of the documentary, The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story (Educational Version). Watch all or part of the film with the class

    Grades 3 – 5


    • Bravery
    • Inclusion
    • Perseverance
    • Integrity


    During this lesson, students will:

    • Create a poster that describes something they are passionate about.
    • Discuss how Jackie Robinson and the Erskines showed bravery, and how they can be brave too.
    • Determine the best decisions in role-play scenarios and explain their reasoning.

    Essential Questioning

    Students should be able to answer these questions by the end of this lesson:

    • Why is it important to stand up for what you believe in?
    • What is something you strongly believe in and why is that important to you?
    • How are you, Jackie, and Jimmy similar? How are you different?
    • In a difficult situation, how do you know what decision is best?
    • How is bravery connected to decision making?

    Indiana Academic Standards

    • INSS.ELA – (3)(4)(5) RN.2.2
    • INSS.ELA – (3)(4)(5) RN.2.3
    • INSS.ELA – (3)(4)(5) RN.4.2
    • INSS.ELA – (3)(4)(5) SL.3.1
    • INSS.ELA – (3)(4)(5) SL.4.1


    Download the attached PDF document for complete lesson materials. 

    Download the attached Word version for fully accessible document. (Coming Soon)