Have you ever had a Eureka moment while teaching? You know those moments where everything just clicks and everyone is surprised, especially you? In this case it was super heroes. Let’s talk about 9 compelling reasons why you need lessons using super heroes.
I’ve shared several times that I taught a pre-elective drama class to sixth graders for thirteen years. If you’d like more information about that time, check out: How to Make Your Drama Class More Successful –Lessons Learned from 38 Years of Teaching-Middle School. One of the most exhausting parts of it was the constant lesson planning.
If you are at all like me, you know that the “lesson planning monkey” on your back is demanding. And relentless. Finally, in desperation one day I took a stab and did something completely spontaneous with my students. I used super heroes in all my lessons for a week. The students were thrilled and I was, too!
Did you know that super heroes have been a part of our world for nearly one hundred years?
During the late 1930’s to 1950’s, the Golden Age of Comic Books were created. Modern comic books were first published and rapidly increased in popularity among the masses. The superhero archetype was created and many well-known characters were introduced, including Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Captain America, and Wonder Woman. Most superheroes served as a figure who inspired hope. This hero could save us all from dark and difficult times. Superhero stories promote the ideas of peace, safety and freedom. Some experts consider this message a necessary reassurance in difficult times. The message isn’t about a country succeeding, but recognition that there are others with similar hope for a peaceful future
If I’ve convinced you to consider utilizing super heroes in your teaching, read on!
9 Compelling Reasons Why You Need Lessons Using Super Heroes
When I began writing this blog post, I ran on to a wonderful website, Momjunction.com who stated:
Superhero play gives kids the chance to pretend to be strong and invincible,
They encourage students to make new friends and helps them develop an identity outside of real life.
Super heroes help children explore moral values and dilemmas and to establish what they and others perceive as right and wrong.
They help children build their confidence. Exposing students to the fantastic world of superheroes may help them come out of the shell and encourage them to face the world with renewed confidence.
They act as role models. Superheroes can be good role models as they teach children various attributes such as courage, honesty, humility, fighting spirit, sense of responsibility, and leadership.
Super heroes instill compassion. Because they are aware of their superiority, it gives the a differnt perspective on others. They know that they could destroy most everything and everyone. Consequently, they understand their actions–both physical and emotional are not only necessary but need to be goverend at all times.
They teach willpower and courage. Super heroes don’t give up at the first failure. They keep trying until they read their goal.
They model teamwork. When super heroes work together they know they must share the burden of the challenge and employ the best in each other. All team members respect each other’s opinions and capabilities while collectively working towards the common goal.
They are just plain fun. Super Heroes and their quests take us to a different place in our imaginations where anything is possible. Pick up some fun supplies for your super hero week here: Super Hero Teaching Supplies
Have I convinced you yet to use super heroes in your teaching?
This is How I Can Help You
Maybe you need some ready-made lessons? I have a brand new Dramamommaspeaks store where you can purchase a few lessons with a super hero theme.
A teacher could use them as is in their drama classroom or a reading teacher could integrate them into a unit about super heroes. Usually students in grades 5 to 8 enjoy them the most, but you know your students the best so you decide. You can purchase them at Payhip.com or Teacherspayteacher.com.
My Teaching Style
You may find my lessons to be quite unique–there’s a reason. Since I taught theater classes for nearly forty years, I had the rare opportunity to watch theater subjects unfold and change over many years. I got to see first hand what worked and what wasn’t so successful. For instance, there was a time when we didn’t even try to teach technical theater, but now we have lots of units about them.
During this time, I noticed that middle and elementary teachers were using themed units to teach particular concepts or objectives. The students appeared very excited by them. Hence, when I was exhausted from planning I turned to using themes to teach theater concepts and it worked wonderfully.
If you want to learn more about how to integrate drama into your classroom, check out: How to Excite Students With Drama Integration
What are some themed units you’ve taught? I’d love to hear about them. Email me at DhcBaldwin@gmail.com and let’s chat!