I can’t keep up with my son when it comes to Superheroes. He corrects me when I get my Justice League characters mixed up. But I often ask my son and my students to dig deeper about “real” superheroes and real superpowers…
Yep, no x-ray vision, supersonic strength or flight capabilities.
Just the ability and courage to help people when faced with adversity.
How about Dr. Najma Ahmed,Toronto emergency room doctor, who pieces people back together.
Or firefighters who routinely support people in trouble?
Or the person who phoned to say they found your wallet at the coffee shop?
Real superheroes are everywhere and they deserve some recognition!
Real Superhero Project
In the classroom I like to do a unit or project exploring real superheroes. We start with a read-aloud and progressing towards the students discussing and defining what makes a superhero. As a culminating task, students seek out and report on real life superheroes in their communities.
The project is easily cross curricular – touching on literacy, social studies, visual art and can include math and science on some level. Students can present their project in many formats – written, spoken, through a dramatic presentation or visual media.
A related or separate unit can be on superpowers. Starting similarly as the superhero project, the class relates to traditional superheroes to recognize their superpowers. Through inquiry, group or independent study, students discuss and define the idea of a superpower. As a culminating task, students present their own superpowers or recognize superpowers they admire in someone else.
What I love about this project is the emphasis on young people recognizing what they are good at (their own superpower!) Everyone is good at SOMEthing. Some students just need some help to recognize and accept their excellence.
So, who is YOUR local superhero? What is your superpower? Or a superpower you admire in someone else?