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Everyday heroes

Before speaking

Ciências Humanas

1 How would you define a hero? Discuss in pairs and compare your ideas to these quotes. Do you agree with any of them? Respostas pessoais.

“‘Heroes aren’t always the ones who win,’ she said. ‘They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.’”

Clary, City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare, Iranian writer

Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.”

Gerard Way, American musician and comic book writer

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

Joseph Campbell, American writer

Available at ; . Accessed on February 11, 2016.

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2 Read these stories about everyday heroes. Which one stood out for you? Why?

Respostas pessoais.


Two Children Teach the World about Love

Apr 11, 2014 – Trenton and Lindsay Cochran are best friends, brother and sister, support and inspiration. [10-year-old] Lindsay, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, has been in a wheelchair since she was 2. Trenton understands deeply that his life would have been very different if he didn’t have a disabled younger sister. Not only is this mature [12-year-old] a helper and protector, he is an advocate and ambassador for kids with disabilities. ‘I would take a bullet for her,’ he says, as his grateful sister looks on. […]”

Excerpt from the text available at . Accessed on January 21, 2016. Occasional linguistic adjustments to fit standard language marked with [ ]. Suppressions for pedagogical purposes (omission of excerpts with inadequate language level or advertising) marked with […].



Joyce Keighron

Submitted by Alexander McAslan

My hero is also my mother. She’s not only helped and raised me but also my sister, four adopted children, and twenty seven foster kids. She’s beaten cancer and has been there every step of the way through my battle with cancer. I have many important people and heroes in my life, including my wife, children, father, stepfather, siblings, and friends, but my mother is at the top. Without her, I would not even be here. There are so many values my mother instills in us all and portrays, and I will forever be grateful she’s instilled them in me for my children and everyone I meet. Thank you, mom, I love you!”

Excerpt from the text available at . Accessed on January 21, 2016.


Dr. Vera Cordeiro

Breaking the cycle of poverty-related illness


Doctor Vera Cordeiro witnessed the constant admission/re-admission cycle of children treated in Brazil’s public hospitals, who were released without having the necessary resources to continue their treatment at home. She brought together doctors, nurses, and members of the civil society to create Associação Saúde [Criança], which works with severely ill children of poor families to ensure that they receive nutrition, sanitation, and psychological support post-hospital discharge for a full [recovery]. Thus, Associação Saúde Criança successfully addresses the root causes that had earlier prevented their families from providing adequate care. The methodology, which galvanizes government, community, and professional supports, works: Associação Saúde Criança is recognized as a national model and has spread to 14 other associations across Brazil. She is an outspoken advocate for children’s health and developmental rights and [a] member of the Ashoka Global Board of Directors.”

Available at . Accessed on January 21, 2016. Occasional linguistic adjustments to fit standard language marked with [ ].

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HIV child activist

Nkosi Johnson was born Xolani Nkosi to an HIV positive mother in a township on the east rand. When his mother became too ill to take care of him, she gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by Johannesburg public relations officer Gail Johnson. She changed his name to Nkosi Johnson. Johnson was thrust into the media when a primary school in Johannesburg refused to admit him as a pupil because of his HIV status. The incident also marked the beginning of his HIV/AIDS activism.

He lived an active life and took treatment to slow down the effects of the virus. His mother died the same year he started school. He and his foster mother founded a refuge for HIV mothers and children in Johannesburg, aptly named Nkosi’s Haven. Nkosi gave talks about the disease both locally and abroad. In the 13th International Aids Conference, Johnson was a key speaker. He succumbed to the virus on 1 June 2001. At the time of his death, he was the longest-surviving child born with HIV in South Africa. He was honoured posthumously with the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2005.”

Available at . Accessed on January 21, 2016.


3 What do you think makes someone an everyday hero? Based on the texts in activity 2 and on your own ideas, make a list of criteria you consider appropriate in your notebook. Then get together in groups and discuss them. Respostas pessoais.

Useful language

Giving opinions

I think…
To my mind, …
The way I see it, …

Making a point

Can I make a point?
Let me say something.


I see your point.
You’re right there.
I totally agree.
You have a point there.


I’m sorry, I don’t see it that way.

4 Still in groups, choose an everyday hero based on the criteria you established in activity 3.

Respostas pessoais.

5 Present your everyday hero to your classmates. Explain to the other groups why you consider him/her so. This is an opportunity to honor this person and make him/her known. Respostas pessoais.

After speaking

6 Make your everyday hero public. You can prepare posters telling his/her story and spread them in your community and/or find websites to publish the story.

Professor/a, os seguintes sites podem ser utilizados para a atividade: e (acessos em 21 de janeiro de 2016). Eles têm como objetivo a promoção de valores humanitários e a divulgação de histórias inspiradoras, escritas por pessoas comuns.
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Young people who make a difference

Professor/a, sugestão de atividade extra para esta seção encontra-se no Guia Didático, página 249.

Before listening

Ciências Humanas

1 Read the first part of a text about volunteering. Which of the five examples do you consider volunteer work? Discuss with a partner.

Respostas pessoais. Professor/a, as respostas para esta atividade podem ser confirmadas na atividade 2.


“So what is volunteering anyway?

Words and phrases like ‘altruism’ or ‘doing good’ come to mind. […]

Here are some examples of people ‘doing good:’

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