Heroes and Villains uses narratives to discuss the concepts of civic virtue in all classrooms. Topics range from Alice Paul and perseverance to Benedict Arnold and treason. Each virtue narrative includes corresponding discussion guides, journal templates, a toolbox with additional activities, and suggestions for further reading on each topic or virtue.





 

Collection Contents

The Unknown Rebel's Courage at Tiananmen Square

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An exploration of the virtue of Courage using the example of an anonymous individual who refused to yield to a tank during the crackdown on protesters at Tiananmen Square.
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Thomas Jefferson and the Rewards of Humility

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

A look at the virtue of Humility, defined as Remembering that one’s ignorance is far greater than one’s knowledge. Readily giving praise to those who earn it. This virtue is explored through the life of Thomas Jefferson.
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The Responsibilities of Frederick Douglass

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An in-depth look at Responsibility through the life of Fredrick Douglass. Responsibility is defined as striving to know and to do what is best rather than what is most popular. To be trustworthy for making decisions in the best long-term interests of the people and the tasks of which one is in charge.
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How Jourdon Anderson Understood Justice

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

Exploring the Virtue of Justice, defined as standing for equally applied rules and making sure everyone obeys them. The lesson looks at the life of Jourdon Anderson, an escaped slave who wrote a letter to his former master in 1865. The Lesson explores two central questions: How can I seek justice on behalf of another person? On behalf of myself?
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Alice Paul's Perseverance for the Vote

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

A look at the virtue of Perseverance, defined as remembering how many people before you chosen the easy path rather than the right one, and to stay the course, through the life and work of Alice Paul.
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The Schechter Brothers' Contribution

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An exploration of individuals Contributions to society through the life of the Schechter Brothers. The virtue of contribution is defined as, discovering your passions and talents, and to use them to create what is beautiful and needed. To work hard, to take care of yourself and those who depend on you.
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Elizabeth Eckford, the Little Rock Nine, and Respect

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An investigation of the virtue of Respect and why it is important in a society that values Individual liberty through the experience of Elizabeth Eckford and the Little Rock Nine. Respect is defined as, protecting your mind and body as previous aspects of your identity. To extend that protection to every other person you encounter.
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August Landmesser's Courageous Refusal

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

A look at the virtue of Courage through the courageous action of August Landmesser. Courage is defined as standing firm in being a person of character and doing what is right, especially when it is unpopular or puts you at risk. The significance or courage in a society built on democratic principles is explored in this lesson .
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Benedict Arnold's Treason

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An exploration of the virtue of Integrity through the life of Benedict Arnold. Integrity is defined as telling the truth, exposing untruths and keeping your promises. The life of Benedict Arnold demonstrates the opposite of this principle. In doing so it highlights the true worth of the virtue of Integrity.
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George Washington and Self-Governance

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

A look at the virtue of Self-Governance through the life of George Washington. Self-Governance is defined as being self-controlled, avoiding extremes, and to not be excessively influenced or controlled by others. This lesson explores how George Washington’s self-governance influenced the early republic and how it influences what we value in both citizens and leaders.
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"Boss" Tweed and Avarice

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of greed in civil society in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine "Boss" Tweed and his corrupt NewYork political machine, how the vice of greed affected politics and civil society, through a historical narrative, discusssion guide, and contemporary political cartoons by Thomas Nast. Students will also analyze vice by examining its opposite with contribution and philanthropy.
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Roger Taney and Injustice: The Dred Scott Decision

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of injustice in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney and the Dred Scott (1857) decision that instituted great injustice against African Americans by arguing that they cannot be citizens. A historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources related to the majority decision and dissents in the Supreme Court case, and activities that guide students through analyzing the effect of injustice on constitutional principles and civil society.
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Joseph McCarthy and Demagoguery

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of demagoguery in a constitutional republic in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the anti-Communist crusade of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Cold War in the early 1950s. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to weigh whether McCarthy was expressing genuine concerns about Communist subversives or just interested in his own power. Students will examine the effects of demagoguery on a constitutional republic and civil society.
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Douglas MacArthur and Hubris

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of hubris or pride in a constitutional republic in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the life of the heroic, but flawed, career of General Douglas MacArthur in World War II and the Korean War. Through a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities, students will analyze whether MacArthur exhibited the vice of hubris and what effect it might have had on civil-military relations in a constitutional republic.
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The Self-Deception of Irma Grese

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of self-deception in civil society in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the life of Nazi Irma Grese who was an ordinary young woman who joined the Nazis and perpetrated great crimes in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, photographs, and other activities to try to understand how an ordinary person could have deceived herself to adopt an ideology of hatred through blind obedience and its consequences.
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Aaron Burr and Ambition

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of ambition in a constitutional republic and civil society in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the difference between self-serving ambition and noble ambition of great deeds, and then explore the character and career of Aaron Burr who engaged in various machinations to establish an empire out West and was put on trial for treason. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, and various activities to explore the effect of self-serving ambition in a constitutional republic and on civil society.
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Che Guevara and the Injustice of Communism

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of injustice in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the revolutionary life of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in establishing a Communist regime in Cuba with Fidel Castro. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to explore the effect of injustice during the Cuban revolution and under the Communist regime established by Guevara and Castro.
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General Dwight D. Eisenhower Takes Responsibility for the D-Day Invasion

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the virtue of responsibility in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the military decisions that Dwight Eisenhower made on D-Day in World War II and how he took responsibility for his grave decisions of launching the Normandy invasion. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to explore the virtue of responsibility in a constitutional republic and civil society.
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Maximilien Robespierre and Political Intolerance

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of political intolerance in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine the role that Robespierre played in the mass murder of the Terror during the French Revolution and how his political intolerance led to a search for "enemies of the state." Students will analyze a historical narrative, a discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to understand the destructive influence of political intolerance in the French Republic and in civil society.
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John Brown and Self-Deception

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the vice of self-deception in this lesson on civic virtue. Students will examine John Brown deceived himself due to his self-righteousness that he could end slavery in the antebellum United States by freeing and arming slaves to launch a racial war in the South. Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources, and other activities to decide whether it is acceptable to break the law based upon one's view of a higher law.
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