Image of hardcover copy of Profiles in Courage.


Teachers are encouraged to implement the Profile in Courage Essay Contest as a class project. The following ideas are meant as resources for teachers who are interested in using John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage to assist students in gaining a better understanding of the concept of political courage. They are also meant to help students with the research and writing of an essay about an elected public official in the United States who is acting, or has acted, courageously to address a political issue.

Several of the following activities meet Common Core State Standards and National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) Standards and The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standards for the English Language Arts.

Classroom Lessons

  1. Defining Political Courage 
  2. Examining Past "Profiles in Courage" 
  3. Identifying Issues Requiring Political Courage 
  4. Investigating Contemporary "Profiles in Courage" 


  1. Related Common Core and National Standards for Social Studies and Language Arts
  2. Excerpts from Chapter One of Profiles in Courage 
  3. Chapter Summaries from Profiles in Courage