A Free Giraffe Lesson

Here's an exercise that works at all grade levels, though better at second grade and up than at kindergarten and first. The students' responses will differ from one age group to another, but the process always works.

Figure it will take at least 90 minutes, in at least two sessions.

  1. Ask students who their heroes are. Write them all on the board without comment, and don't attach students' names to the heroes.

  2. Tell the stories of at least two Giraffes from this Website.

  3. Spark a class discussion about the Giraffes, the risks they took, and the common good that their actions served. Tell them that "Giraffe" heroes stick their necks out for others.

  4. Go through the list of heroes on the board and ask what risks each of them has taken and who they helped by their actions. Without embarrassing the nominators, guide the class through a discussion that helps them see that being rich, talented, gorgeous or bulletproof can make people celebrities, but not necessarily heroes. (For the bulletproof ones, remind them that it isn't brave to do something courageous if you know you can't get hurt).

  5. Divide the class into small teams. Ask each one to brainstorm several possible Giraffe heroes and to select one to present to the class. Different teams could be asked to focus on heroes in the news, literature, history, movies, the community, etc.

  6. Each group presents its hero's story using drama, art, narrative, song— encourage them to be imaginative.

  7. Ask the class to discuss each person whose story has been presented, focusing on the risks taken and the caring shown. Make a new list of class heroes, including all those who have indeed stuck their necks out for others. Don't forget to include anyone from the first list who turned out to be a real hero.

  8. Students can present these heroes to the school in a Hall of Heroes display, at an assembly, and/or in P.A. announcements.

# # #

FYI:  That's a sample of the style and substance of Giraffe materials for kids. Full Giraffe programs provide lesson plans for kindergarten through high school, within school hours or "beyond the bell."

In some areas of the country we have grants that make it possible for us to give the materials plus trainings to schools and afterschool programs. In areas where we don't have grants to do that, teachers are using funding they obtain from service clubs in their communities. Others have simply bought the materials they need.

One way or another, you can get Giraffe for your students.

Look over what we have on offer. If you want Giraffe materials for your kids, order what you need, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



iutucoverIn classrooms since 1991,
we’ve had plenty of time to
test our ways of teaching
character and service.
As technology changes,
we’re converting our
proven content into
digital forms. Now,
the first downloadable
program is ready for you—
It’s Up to Us, for teens.
And it's free! 
Take a look!.

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From time to time, Ann Medlock, this Project's founder, does a brief but inspiring email called Heads Up. You can check out past copies here. They're so good (and so free) we bet you'll join the Heads Up circle and send them on to friends & family.

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The Giraffe Heroes Kit

We now offer you a tool kit you can use to train tomorrow's heroes, in class or after school. (Full info)



Grades K-2 Guide

Stan Tall & Bea Tall, our twin spokesgiraffes 
for the K-2 Giraffe Heroes Program 
have some bad news and some good news. 
First—the K-2 is no longer for sale in print. 
And here’s the good news—
The entire K-2 program will soon be a free download!
Lesson plans, videos, audio tracks, dozens of stories, 
printable handouts, correlations, & links to resources—
it will all be in a free download to your computer.
We’re working as fast as we can to complete the conversion.
If you’d like to be notified when it goes online,
email us, we’ll make sure you get the word.

Grades 3-5 Guide

Out of print

Grades 6-9 Guide

The Giraffe Heroes Program
for your 6-9 students

Voices of Hope

Service-Learning Guide


Student Anthology