And the Winner Is…

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Middle School

Author Info


Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



30-60 minutes

Challenge Question

The American Revolution can be best characterized by testing authority, deciding loyalties, and above all else, questioning the way things worked. Where, and how, do we see five universal character traits- GRIT, ZEST, CURIOSITY, OPTIMISM, and GRATITUDE- demonstrated in the images of the American Revolution? Your job will be to award five images with a Character Award and give a short acceptance speech (an explanation of your pairing). In the end, we’ll see which image received the most awards.


This Challenge can be used as a stand alone lesson, a culmination of an American Revolution unit, or a an opening to a more in-depth project covering skills and content including character development, the American Revolution, art history, small-group collaboration, and public speaking. The Challenge will ask students to work in small groups to pair images with character traits and write and deliver a short acceptance speech (explanation of pairing) to the class.


  1. Warm-up review (or introduction) of the five character traits being used- grit, zest, curiosity, optimism, gratitude. One can spend as much or as little time on this step as desired. All are encouraged to connect these traits to our own experiences and daily lives.
  2. Introduce the eight images on the Sea of Liberty site. Only five pairings will be made but eight are provided. Images can only be used for one pairing. If desired, check out the example pairing on the Sea of Liberty site.
  3. You will have a set amount of time (~20 minutes) to create five pairings (1 image + 1 character trait) and a 3-5 sentence “acceptance speech.” This is an explanation of your pairing and should incorporate your reasoning for the pairing with specific references to the image and any contextual information.
  4. Re-gather for the Awards Ceremony. A teacher will act as the host and invite presenters (a representative from each group) up to present the award for each character trait.
  5. Keep a tally of awards and the most common image + character trait pairings. The overall award goes to the image that receives the most exposure in the Awards Ceremony.
  6. (Optional) A homework assignment or extension activity would be to create a Word Cloud or Digital Poster using an image and your explanation of why that image represents a given character trait.