As James Kakalios, the author of The Physics of Superheroes, explains, students never say, “When are we going to use this in real life?” when he uses superheroes to teach. Apparently, he says, all of them have future plans that involve wearing lycra and saving cities.
Your students, too, will be responsive to lessons involving superheroes. Science is an obvious connection, as is reading and writing. Superhero School by Aaron Reynolds brings math into the mix for young students.
- Shelley Hong Xu has a super heroes lesson plan incorporating critical reading and visual literacy.
- TeacherDude has a lesson plan intended for ESL/EFL, but it could work well for younger native speakers. There’s a communication-focused game, a trip to The Hero Factory, and a writing assignment.
- Elasmosaur has a math worksheet generator that cranks out printable arithmetic worksheets with superhero decorations.
- The Physics of Superheroes is an excellent and inspiring book for fluent readers in middle school and up. Read an excerpt on Aquaman for a new look at surface tension. The Science of Superheroes is an alternative, possibly easier to read and with a somewhat wider frame of reference. Get both and use them together to examine some of the thornier issues of science or of superheroes. Introduce the concept with this clip from Big Bang Theory:
- Superhero flashcards with simple game suggestions make a fun center for young students.
- DLTK has superhero printables.
Jazz up your basic lessons by using superheroes, or grab some posters and make it your classroom theme.