Courage means showing up for yourself or others despite feeling fear, doubt or vulnerability. It can be hard to do sometimes. However, it is an important lesson to learn early on in life. This lesson gives a real-life example of a woman who stepped into her courage and freed herself and others. It helps girls understand the importance of bravery and how to incorporate the character trait into their lives and relationships.
Courage is being able to do the right thing. It doesn't happen in the absence of fear but, rather, in spite of it. It helps girls to stand up to bullying behaviors, to take on extracurricular activities and leadership positions. It is the tool a girl will use when times are unstable, when she feels less than, to make new friends, and step into adulthood. Although parents, teachers and important role models can't remove all fears from their girl’s life, they can help her become courageous in her pursuit of an empowered life.
While Harriet Tubman’s courage was loud, it is vital for girls to remember that small acts of courage are just as important as the big ones. Trying out for the school musical when you are nervous is courage. Sharing opinions you know to be different from others is bravery.
Courage is self-fulfilling empowerment. When a girl is courageous in her life, she starts to understand that she is in charge and she must own her life and her choices. This is an emotional-development milestone and an act of maturity—an important lesson that every girl must learn as she grows from childhood to teen years to adulthood.
Why We Chose Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman is the enslaved woman most of us remember learning about in childhood.
There was something innate in Harriet that makes her the perfect example of courage. Perhaps that comes when you are born into a world where you are not seen as a person. Maybe that situation makes you empathetic to others, so you strive to make sure they know their value by rescuing them. I imagine every time she started back into slavery territory, she must have been scared. Perhaps she wondered if this would be the time she would be caught. But she faced those fears with determination. She believed in her mission of freeing others from oppression.
Harriet was the real deal—and it all started with a long walk to freedom, leaving us with an even longer list of reasons to learn about her.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Preparatory Reading
Introduction from Heather Stark: Why Harriet Tubman?
The Journey of Harriet Tubman's Life
Character Trait: Authenticity
Section 2: Group Activity Guide
Activity Booklet (Reading Section)
Activity Booklet (Question Section) & Biography Workbook
Section 3: Closing Discussion Guide
Closing Discussion Questions