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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gentle Superheroes

"SuperHero ABC" by Bob McLeod
Alright, my secret is out!  I LOVE superheroes!  Many of the students in my class speak Spanish as their primary language.  The most fabulous thing that I discovered is if I start to talk to my students about superheroes, suddenly they're speaking complete sentences in English.  Now, I'm not saying it's perfectly grammatically correct English, but the point is that we're having a conversation.  And isn't that what we want for our pre-k and kindergarten-age students?

SuperHero ABC by Bob McLeod is a really cool book.  Each page has a beautifully illustrated superhero who has a phonetic connection to what the superhero's power is.  For example, "Danger Man does daring deeds every day."  When I read this book to my class, the kids were SO excited!  It sparked a great deal of conversation about which superhero they wanted to be, and what powers they would have.  At the time, I did not have a followup activity for this book - it was just read for fun.  But now that I'm going back to kindergarten, I'm going to have the students illustrate and write about their favorite superhero on a T-shirt.

Superhero T Shirts

This year, I really discovered the joy of playing ABC Bingo games as a way to reinforce connections between letters and sounds.  I commissioned an up-and-coming graphic designer who I know (he loves comic books, too) to make me an entire set of superhero clip art, carefully designed to motivate young children.  I wanted to have a Superhero Bingo Game that would be gentle and appropriate for my new kindergarten classroom.  I really don't like a lot of the violence (guns, swords, claws, axes, etc.) that are used in today's animated characters.

Hence this new product, Superhero ABC Bingo (view it on TPT or TN).  I also made a Superhero ABC Mini Poster (view it on TPT or TN) to send home with my kids so that every night their parents can help them learn a new letter of the alphabet.  Finally, I just finished a Superhero Sight Word Wall Folder (view it on TPT or TN) so the children can learn kindergarten and first-grade words that correspond to each letter of the alphabet.  I will give one of these to every child in my classroom so that they can independently spell the sight words and have a feeling of growing confidence instead of always asking me to spell sight words for them.

Please let me know your opinions about using superheroes in the classroom, and if there are other products you would like to see these characters appear in.  I really enjoy hearing from all of you!


  1. I absolutely LOVE your incorporation of Super Heroes! Our little guys always respond excellently when they can relate to what we share with them in the classroom. What better way to facilitate learning than to relate to something THEY are interested in. I bet those tshirts come out terrific! I hope you do a post showing them later. Tell us more about how to commission your artist friend. I am always wondering where you find your amazing graphics. I LOVE THEM!!!

  2. Wow, I love how you took something fun that you noticed your students get excited about, and used it to get them excited about learning! Well done! :D