How Superheroes Can Inspire Students to Write
Kids of all ages (even the grown-up ones!) are getting excited about the movie release of Dawn of Justice this month. That’s because superheroes mesmerize our imagination. They are larger than life, fearless, powerful, and it doesn’t hurt if they can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
But what in the galaxy do superheroes have to do with writing? Well, for any student who has ever been inspired by Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Wolverine, or any of the hundreds of other heroes and heroines brought to life in comic books and movies, just the mention of a superhero writing activity can get those fingers typing faster than a speeding bullet.
Below are five writing activities your student can do at home as part of a superhero unit study or just to rescue a writing lesson from the villain of monotony. And if you are looking for more ways to get your child enthusiastic about writing, definitely explore Time4Writing’s two newest elementary courses that teach informative and narrative writing using the exciting theme of wild animals.
The plots of many of our favorite children’s books are easy to recall. We know that Charlotte and Orville become fast friends, that Lucy finds something spectacular in the back of a wardrobe, and that green eggs and ham aren’t Sam’s first choice for breakfast. But, what if we were to RE-write one of our favorite stories substituting our superhero of choice for one of the main characters? Can you imagine how much fun your child would have retelling the story of Hulk and the Chocolate Factory or Supergirl in Wonderland?
Supervillain Facebook Profile
Middle schoolers will love the opportunity to flesh out their favorite movie supervillain according to the profile he or she might have on Facebook. Does Doctor Doom have a religious preference? Do we know what Lex Luthor’s hometown is? What would the Joker’s educational background look like? And just exactly how complicated is Catwoman’s relationship status? Your student is sure to enjoy coming up with answers for those.
Conjure up a Sidekick
Every superhero and superheroine needs a reliable partner. Someone who will warn them when the Batmobile is low on gas or let them know when weather forecasts are not looking favorable for flying invisible planes. Creating just the right sidekick for a superhero involves multiple characterization and descriptive language skills: determining basic statistics for your character, describing his or her physical characteristics, determining the personality and emotional attributes that make the character tick, and explaining how the sidekick interacts with the hero or heroine.
Words with Superfriends
If spelling is your child’s Kryptonite, then you will be thrilled to learn about one of the most interactive, game-based learning programs on the web: Vocabulary Spelling City. VSC is a one-stop website (and mobile app!) for vocabulary, spelling, phonics, writing, and language arts. Families can register for either a free membership or upgrade to a family premium subscription to access the full line of game features. Best of all? You can kick things off by importing this Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice word list into your new account!
This activity is most fun if you can get your hands on an older copy of a Marvel or DC comic book – – preferably one your student has never read before. Then, you’ll also want access to plenty of plain or colored scrap paper and a glue stick. Your goal is to take at least one full page of the comic and glue over all the text with blank cut-outs from your paper scraps. Now comes the fun part. Your student’s assignment will be to RE-write the dialogue and action on those blank places. The less your student knows about the true plot of the story, the more fun he or she will have creating their own.
Once they’ve tried out these activities, your superkid will be well on their way to remembering just how fun writing can be. That’s the perfect time to get him or her ready for their next mission: continuing to build writing skills with an online course from Time4Writing. Elementary, middle, and high school students have their choice of 15 different courses designed to address different writing goals. Weekly online lessons can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere with a computer and internet connection. You don’t even need a cape or a phone booth to help your child get started with the curriculum – – just the courage to sign up now.