Finding Heroes in
by Jerrilyn Jacobs, Taft
Area: Art, Language Arts
level: 4-8, 9-12.
college, adults; adaptable for younger children
using art selected by the teacher
Students will identify what
kind of characters and actions or situations
would qualify as heroic.
Students will use Internet
skills to find images of heroes and heroic
Through oral and written expression,
students will share their thoughts about how
art portrays heroes.
One: How do you recognize a hero by looking
at him or her?
As a class, discuss characteristics
of a hero and how these characteristics
are visible in ACTION. What other visual
element, other than the hero, needs to be
in the picture if we are to understand that
the person is a hero? What heroes would
we recognize, without any supporting visual
information, because their image alone reminds
us of their heroic action? They almost represent
some heroic action, such as Gandhi spinning
wool as a symbol of peaceful resistance
and home rule.
Log on to the MY HERO Website,
www.myhero.com, and identify heroes who
might be the subject of artwork. Look at
images that accompany hero stories for any
visual heroic action.
The teacher can limit the
media to fine arts, or include all forms
of two-dimensional art.
Sculpture can be included,
or have its own lesson.
Individual students should brainstorm additional
heroes they think will be found in art.
Two: The Search is On
Using Internet search engines
(especially sites such as Google which have
a separate search engine for images), museum
and art Internet sites, individual students
search for images of heroic action.
Have students record the
name and URL of every art site they visited
to be turned in for part of their grade.
When a heroic image is found,
print a copy and include credits to identify
the artist, name of the image, and Website.
On the back of each image, the student writes
a brief analysis of what is happening in
the picture and why the character’s
actions can be considered heroic.
Three: Show and Tell
Students present their images
to the class and read what they have written.
The class responds with comments and questions.