This major interest in superheroes was obvious ever since the beginning of the year! I knew that I was going to have to figure out a way to do a superhero inquiry, but what could I cover in our curriculum with superheroes? There was nothing about superheroes in our science or social studies standards. Once I started brainstorming and putting my ideas down on a web map, I was amazed at how much curriculum I could cover! Reading, writing, math, social studies social skills, and LOTS of science!
For reading, I found easy readers about superheroes and they read them over and over and over! They never tire of these books and were used as inspiration in their writing also!
For Art, I set up the art area with lots of superhero colors. They were very inspired! The kids loved going to the easel and painting their favorites!
For Writing, I set up an area where they could create comics about their favorite superheroes. They LOVED to write about superheroes. Not only comics, but stories and and books! I never had to beg them to focus on their writing during this inquiry! They wrote with excitement and were so proud of their stories. They loved rereading their stories to friends. It was a great opportunity to focus on what they need to do to make their writing easy for them to reread such as adding spaces, sight words being spelled correctly, writing down every sound they hear in unfamiliar words, writing neatly and drawing a picture with details that helps you remember what you wrote.
Superheroes were a big help for working on social skills. We talked about the qualities of superheroes and how we should all strive to have these same qualities and behaviors!
For reading comprehension, we read about a superhero and created a tree map to organize what we learned about them from the book. They loved to compare and contrast them. Most had secret identities, were kind and good, helpful, team players, strong, etc. They noticed some differences. Some needed gadgets, some had super powers, some could fly, others could not, etc.
For Science, I set out opportunities for them to explore different super powers. Here, Aqua Man inspired us to explore the properties of water. There was a lot of exploration in volume as they filled containers (math), and the concept of sink and float. They tried to figure out why some things sank and others didn't. They also tried to sink things that would float and tried to make the things that sank, float!
Magneto inspired us to explore the power of magnetism. They tried to figure out which things stuck to the magnets and why. They were also interested in how sometimes the magnets would repel each other.
Spiderman inspired us to explore spider powers! A group here is very interested in spiders so I will let them explore further! We strengthened fine motor skills by creating webs and books about spiders were provided for them to learn more.
Here they studied the pictures of webs and used white crayons, glue and glitter to show what they noticed about spider webs. These turned out beautiful! I wish I thought to take a picture of one!
Ironman inspired us to explore the power of propulsion. They had to use the materials to make the superheroes shoot up in the air without throwing anything or touching the superhero. After some experimenting, most came up with a catapult design which is a simple machine (lever).
I decided to set up another similar propulsion challenge with only clothespins and craft sticks. How can you get the superhero to fly the absolute highest it can? I want them to think about the importance of where to place the fulcrum of this simple lever machine in order to gain the most height! Where the fulcrum is placed makes a big difference! They are really into these lever designs!
Now that we have explored and investigated superheroes, we are now working on our project, along with exploring a couple more super powers! We will also integrate social studies as we talk about real heroes in our world in the form of community helpers. They are also interested in animal super powers. I will blog about that next time!
Meanwhile, here are some other things that have gone on in our room!
Valentine's Day: We have some very creative families that created Valentine's Boxes. The kids loved every single one of them! We lined them up and the kids put their valentines in each one.
We made Friendship Fruit Salad to celebrate our friendship on Valentine's Day also. The kids each brought something to add to the salad and also helped mix it up. It was a big hit! They thought it was the best salad they had ever had!
We also celebrated our 100th day of school! Some of the kids and I dressed up like we were 100 years old. I think I scared my husband and a few friends when I posted the picture of just me on social media!
We counted out 100 Fruit Loops by putting them in groups of 10 and then strung them to make a necklace! This was hard work for those finger muscles!
Here are a few of the math games that we are playing. Here they pick a number from the basket, find it on the chart, identify it and cover it with a button. This helps with number i.d. to 100. Though they are only required to i.d. numbers to 20, many are ready to take it further.
Here they use the materials to create a math game and show the class how to play the game and what math skills we are using.
Here they are learning that teen numbers are a long group of ten and some short ones.
Here they are picking to hands and adding the fingers together.
Here they are making sight words on the pipe cleaners, taking a picture of the words and putting them on the promethium board to see if their friends can read them. I have encouraged them to find the hardest ones!