The Super Hero in Us
Who is your favourite super hero?
Super heroes have been in my house since my boys were very young. And now they are making a comeback with my grandchildren. If I think back to my childhood I remember watching and playing with superheroes too. (The Wonder Twins were my favourite, anyone remember them?)
I think we love superheroes because they bring hope that bad can be overcome; they show us that one person can make a difference in the world and they help us dream of what powers we could also possess.
And although we understand that superheroes (at least the comic book kind) are fictional, the situations they deal with seem very real and very relevant. Seeing these superheroes fight for a better world can be an inspiration for us all.
Book recommendation: Super Kids Save the World
All seven of the Super Kids Save the World books are available from the Quite a Character bookstore.
Learning from super heroes
Since many kids are excited about superheroes I wanted to create some thematic learning units that offered lessons while talking about superheroes. (kids learn much better when they are interested in the topic).
First it was science, I introduced the topic by talking about how Superman got his powers. Of course it is because the gravity on his planet was different from ours so he seemed stronger. (originally he jumped high but didn't fly). Well now we can have a lesson about gravity because there is a connection to something interesting!
But as I delved into the research on superheroes I learned something quite interesting myself. Many of the superheroes were created in a time of history where the general population needed hope, needed reassurances and needed a dream of better days ahead.
For example, Superman was created during the depression. Early Superman was a crime-fighting, costumed hero from another world, that fulfilled the dreams of the people to fight back against society’s troubles. His stories provided a world where good guys won and bad guys were punished. Superman was able to fight the evils that the average Americans could not. He was a hero that could help fix American society. His stories displayed real world issues but also provided adventure, humor and happy endings. When the average American needed a champion to protect them, a protector was created. Superman was a superhero that represented hope for the future. (excerpt from the unit study Chronicles of Time: Superhero Edition)
Mainly what I learned from this research was that when we are faced with hard times, with fears or with hopelessness we can imagine ourselves as a superhero. We can figure out what powers we have inside that can help get us through - and then we can use those powers for good! The good of ourselves and others, making a difference in the world we live in - the best way we can.
“What is a superhero? They’re supposed to represent hope, opportunity, and strength for everybody.” – Aldis Hodge
We can all be superheroes in this world by using our powers for good. Spreading kindness is one way to help save the world. Check out my blog post Change the World with Kindness for some ideas to bring out the super hero in you!