As your students enter the classroom, ask them to write something on the whiteboard indicating something they’ve done that required a risk. Ask them to use one-word answers if possible (example: football, theater, mountain-climbing). When everyone has had a chance to write something, give volunteers an opportunity to state why it was a risk. Remind them that a risk for one person might not seem like a risk to someone else, but it is nonetheless.
- Do you consider yourself a risk-taker in general? Why or why not? (Answers will vary; some students will admit they like to live on the edge while others like to play it safe.)
- Why might it be beneficial for students to learn how to be risk-takers as a life skill? (Answers will vary, however, most students will say it is important to practice this skill because it isn’t easy to put yourself in situations where you feel uncomfortable. Practicing doing this makes sense because it isn’t natural to want to take risks in life.)
Show the following video clip to your students [4:23]:
Young athletes defend cheerleader with down syndrome
- What did these three boys risk by defending the cheerleader with down syndrome from bullies? (Answers will vary. A possible risk may have been things escalating into a fight between the boys and the bullies in the crowd or a coach becoming upset because the basketball boys left the court. There were many unknowns, but these boys rushed to defend their cheerleader friend because caring for her was more important than any consequences this risk might hold.)
- What was the outcome of Scooter, Chase, and Miles taking a risk for Desiree? (A lasting friendship, recognition from those the boys influenced with their actions of doing the right thing, being a good role model, an award.)
It isn’t always easy to take risks or to do the right thing. Let’s take a look at two young men who took a risk and why it’s important to stand for what is right.