Role Models K-3


Role Models Lesson

Timeframe: 40 minutes (MAY ALSO BE ADAPTED FOR GRADES 4-6, 7-8)




A key message to convey to students is that being a good role model is about following your dreams and being a positive influence to others as well. Our society seems to favour people of a certain appearance. We need to accept others for who they are, and understand that role models are persons who present positive characteristics such as kindness. Even young children can begin to form negative views associated with appearance. As children mature, they are exposed to media role models who are famous. This lesson helps children and adolescents discuss the characteristics of role models.

Big Ideas

  • Adults need first to recognize their own weight and shape biases.
  • Adults can help students to recognize and challenge existing ways in which our society and schools favour certain body types and sizes.
  • Teachers and parents as well as peers who model shape acceptance give children the strength to resist pressure to become a certain shape or size.
  • Parents and teachers should model healthy eating habits and refrain from modelling dieting and using the word “diet”.


BLACKLINE MASTER A or B (Lesson Resources)


Discuss with students who their role models are (the people that they want to grow up to be like). Write down reasons they provide for choosing their role models (famous, rich, etc.). Talk with them about how a role model can be someone who is not rich or famous but who inspires you to be a better person. Watch the following clip about an unconventional Role Model: (Click to View). Discuss with the class who the role models are in this video, and why they are role models. Compare this with the characteristics the students listed before the film of what make a good role model.



  1. Start with a definition of what a role model is “someone who is worthy of imitation”. In other words, this is someone who displays good behaviour and leadership skills and this behaviour is something that others look up to, or wish to be (
  2. Let students know that being a role model is more than just following your dream; it is also about encouraging others to live their dreams. Encourage them to try, to work hard and to be nice to others. It is easy to lose sight of our goals because we feel that we cannot do it and are discouraged.
  3. Create a discussion of ways we can encourage others to follow their dream. Why would someone feel that they cannot follow their dream? How might appearance be used as an excuse not to follow your dreams? What can we do to help each other realize our dreams?
  4. Play the following clip (Click to View) (Susan Boyle, BGT). She has a beautiful voice, but no one encouraged her dream. Caution: For younger grades, stop the video at 3:10. At 3:25, the lyrics have the word “hell”; play the first 2-3 minutes of the film, then stop to discuss the crowd’s reaction first before and during.
  5. On chart paper, create a class list of those they believe are role models – “Our Role Model is someone who…” Post the list in your class for future reference. Read through with younger students.


TIP Encourage students that being a role model is more than following your dreams, it is also about being a good person and being kind to others.


Encourage students to look past appearance in terms of determining what we can or cannot do. Get them to start thinking that body shape and size does not determine what you can do.


K-3: Using Blackline Master A, have students draw a picture of themselves being a role model and following their dream or you may choose to use Blackline Master B; here they will write a few sentences on what a good role model is and draw a picture of themselves as a role model. Grades 4-8: Discuss what you would put into a mini-video about role models. (This could become an extended activity for a class.)

Blackline Master A (found on the webpage for this lesson under “Lesson Resources”)
Unconventional Role Model Video (Click to View)
Susan Boyle (Click to View)

Additional Resources


K-3 Books to support the lesson:
“Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport;
“Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman” by Kathleen Krull;
“A Bad Case of the Stripes” by David Shannon; “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson;
“My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Seuss

For further information on these book titles, please access the Resources section on our wesite.

For Grades 4-8, an example of a Role Model video would be (Click to View)

Help and your fellow teachers!
Leave feedback on this lesson by commenting at the bottom of the lesson webpage.