My Local Hero

Students identify and express gratitude towards a local hero in their community.
Ages 8-14 / 45
min Activity
Perspective Taking


  • ‍Recognize a local hero, and reflect on how they make a difference and inspire others
  • ‍Consider how their own actions may impact others, and ways they can also make a positive difference in their community

Supporting Research

According to research, when people witness a helping model, they adopt similar underlying goals that drive generosity and engage in prosocial acts towards others. Thus, educators should encourage students to practice perspective taking to consider the characteristics of a “helper” (or local hero) and kindness as they consider actions they can take themselves to help others. 

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners


  1. Help students define what it means to be a “hero” and identify local heroes in their own community. You might ask:
    • What makes someone a hero?
    • Do only “big” actions make someone a hero, or are there smaller, everyday actions which also count?
    • Who are some heroes in our school or community?
    • Why do you consider them a hero?
    • How do you feel when you think about them? How do they inspire you?

    Record students’ ideas on a digital or physical board. For example, students might mention that a hero is someone who helps others without expecting a reward, even if they encounter obstacles or risks along the way. A hero might be brave, honest, kind, and selfless, such as a classmate who stands up for someone being bullied, a frontline worker who takes care of patients, or an emergency worker who provides safety to the community. 
  2. Prompt students to identify a local hero who they want to recognize, and ask them to prepare presentations about their heroes in a format of their choice. For example, they might use the Canva template below, or write an essay, create a poster, or make a slideshow. Students may complete this project individually, or in groups of 2-4 classmates.

    The Canva template can be used as a digital activity or physical handout, and can be accessed through this link by clicking on "Use template". Please note that you will need to sign in to a Canva account to use the template as a digital activity - to learn more about creating a free Canva for Education account, and adding your students to a virtual classroom, please visit this resource
  3. After students share about their local heroes with each other, guide them through a reflection by asking the following questions:
    • What were some similarities and differences between our local heroes?
    • Were you surprised by anyone’s choice of hero, or did you learn about any new ways of being a hero that you hadn’t considered before?
    • Is there something that many heroes share in common, and if so, what is it?
    • What are some ways that we can express gratitude for our local heroes? For example, can we send them a “thank you” letter or postcard, pay them a visit, or give them a small gift?
    • Do you think you have the potential to be a hero? What are some ways that you can help others and make a positive difference in our community?

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.