This is an excerpt from Physical Education Action Plans by Charmain Sutherland.
Action Plan 4.5 Here We Come to Save the Day!
Students envision good qualities and physical abilities that can help others, and then perform some superhero actions.
Concepts and Skills
Whether they depict real-life or make-believe scenarios, role playing and simulations provide us with opportunities to respond as if we were in real-life situations or crises. When we are acting, we use higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills. In this action plan, students demonstrate the following skills:
- Gymnastics (balance)
- Fitness (general)
You’ve met Balance Kid. [If you haven’t used action plan 4.4, explain that Balance Kid is a new hero who balances and saves the world.] I’m challenging you to imagine using your strength and balance in a certain way, as if you had superpowers. You could design a superhero for yourself or create one that is not you.
Set the scene by wearing a towel draped around your shoulders like a cape, fastened at your neck with a safety pin. Put the letter B (for balance) on the back. Allow the creativity to flow as students think, respond, imagine, and create superheroes that help others. You can have a blast with news flash bulletins, and if you can, preface them with music or sound effects. Write these prompts on the board so that students can recall them easily: zoom, zap, pow, pop, wham, zing (in a cloud burst). Invite students to recite them aloud.
3 = Participated with as much imagination as possible; created a superhero; read their superhero descriptions aloud; practiced some superhero moves
2 = Two or three of the four criteria listed for 3
1 = One of the four criteria listed for 3
Crayons or markers
1. Say the following in your own words:
Twisting and spinning like a fierce tornado, the Twister Twins have touched down to save the day! Here’s a double punch of superhero power! Look at the superheroes that a fifth-grader created. Notice the special and unique powers they possess to help others. Their superpowers involve action!
2. Distribute the class challenge worksheets.
3. Arrange students in their own personal spaces, and give them crayons or markers to create, draw, and color their inner heroes.
- Encourage them to enjoy the artistic and imaginative part of creating a physical being.
- Allow them to move and practice the superpowers as they are thinking.
4. As students are working, interrupt periodically with a special news flash bulletin. (Pause any music that might be playing.) During the bulletin, use sound effect words that alert the students to perform certain actions. You can write the sound effect words on the board with explanations or drawings of the actions students must perform for each word.
- Pow = A jump and a kick
- Pop = A 30-repetition speed bag (forearms and fists encircle each other as fast as possible)
- Zap = A jump, a spin, and 10 punches
- Zoom = Run in place, 30 steps
- Wham = Dive to the floor and stand up quickly
- Zing = Two claps and karate chops (Hi-yaa!)
This just in: In a major catastrophe, the villain Lazy Lady has snuck into the gym and deflated all of the balls. The balls are popping, Pop, Pop, Pop. But wait—have no fear, Pow, the Action Kids are here—Pow, Pow, Pow. Good news—Zap, Zap, Zap—you are zapping the air back into each ball. Emergency alert—ZOOOOOOOOOOOOM! You must run in place for 30 steps to escape Lazy Lady. Wham! Duck! Every ball is flying around the room—Wham, Wham, Wham! ZING! It appears the Action Kids have foiled Lazy Lady’s plan to decrease all physical activity. Instead of stopping their activity, the students have increased their activity by kicking and volleying the balls in the air—Zing, Zing, Zing.
5. After reading a quick news flash bulletin, have students continue creating their superheroes.
6. Stop the music every 30 seconds to give a new sound effect prompt.
- Post pictures of heroes throughout your space.
- Play superhero music. Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and others have catchy theme songs.
- Ask students to explain or write about their process of creating their superheroes.
If I were a superhero, I would mostly likely be _________________________________. Now that you have created a superhero, share it with your family and get into a “save the day” discussion about solving some problems we have right now. Maybe you really can save the day! Post the picture of your hero on your refrigerator to remind yourself of your inner powers.
Students create a name and a purpose for a superhero family like the Incredibles and draw their family members as characters in this superfamily.
Read more from Physical Education Action Plans Challenges to Promote Activity at School and at Home by Charmain Sutherland.