While superheroes have been around in comic form for generations, and in cartoon form for years, blockbuster big-budget movies bring superheroes to the attention of most schoolchildren as action heroes. Many wish to imitate their new heroes. You can use their desire with notice boards that use superheroes to teach valuable lessons.
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Focus on Strength
According to The Free Dictionary, two of the definitions for strength are, "The ability to maintain a moral or intellectual position firmly," and the "capacity or potential for effective action." Create a superhero notice board based not only on the physical, but also the moral strength of superheroes.
Print pictures of different superheroes. Have the students choose a superhero, learn about the superhero's strengths and write a one-page essay about their strengths, other than the physical. Spiderman has the strength of character to fight crime and injustice instead of allowing them to continue. Batman turned the devastation of losing his parents into the strength to fight crime, not just seek revenge. Iron Man turned a disability into an asset with courage, intelligence and inner strength.
On the superhero notice board, start with a quote on strength. Great Inspirational Quotes provides quotes such as this from an unknown author, "In the darkest hour the soul is replenished and given strength to continue and endure," and from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Our strength grows out of our weaknesses."
Back the student's essays with construction paper reflecting the costume worn by the superhero about which they wrote. Tack the papers on the notice board along with the corresponding pictures of the superheroes.
Focus on Valor and Courage
Valour is facing danger with courage. Many superheroes face danger as they protect others from those who would harm them. The X-Men fight for those who are "different" as do The Avengers. They protect those in danger even at the cost of their own lives. On the board, have cut outs of the different X-Men or Avengers. Have students talk about qualities of a hero or heroine and the meaning of valour. These could include bravery, courage and standing up for what is right. Have them give real-life examples of valour and bravery, such as standing up to a bully, stopping someone from hurting someone else or telling a teacher when someone is being hurt or intimated. Make a list of their answers and add them to the superhero notice board.
Start with a banner that says, "True valour is of the heart." Add quotes on valour such as the following from ThinkExist.com. Sir Walter Scott wrote, "Real valour consists not in being insensible to danger; but in being prompt to confront and disarm it." Michel de Montaigne said, "Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul."
Focus on Self-sacrifice
Use a superhero notice board to focus on the idea of self-sacrifice. Superman time and again puts the needs of other people and his adopted planet earth ahead of his own needs and desires. He, along with many other superheroes, believe they must use their gifts, talents and abilities to help others. Most students have probably seen one or more of the superhero movies or read comics or books. Have them write down specific examples of superhero self-sacrifice. Add these to the notice board along with figures of the superheroes they write about.
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