What boy does not crave to be, see, watch, play-act, and create super heroes (sorry to be sexist but my experience leads me to make these generalizations)? The majority of my male students tend to talk about super heroes in one of three ways: 1) describing in detail everything they have seen their super hero do on TV or in books and ONLY that…no original content or elaboration or extension of any concepts; 2) setting up a story without developing the story; 3) making all super hero stories about good guys chasing bad guys without having a plan for what happens when the bad guys get caught. This usually ends up in physical and emotional break downs since there is no established plan but everyone wants things done his way without knowing or expressing what his way is, (sound confusing? It is!).
Today we used the Clicky Sticky Super Heroes app with our social group. The kids talked about and agreed upon a scene. The ribbon at the top of the screen presented a variety of “stickers” to drag into the scene such as, tornadoes, super heroes with capes, bad guys, all kinds of cars, fires, helicopters, even an innocent Girl Scout and old woman sitting on a park bench. The kids then took turns adding one item at a time to the scene. As they added each “sticker”, the kids had to add to the story. If someone added a person or moved the story in an unexpected direction, the others had to go with the flow and conceptualize, shift sets, and be flexible. There were many words such as “cool” and “awesome” mixed in with disappointment about someone else selecting the sticker they were going to choose. In the end, though, everyone was happy with the story. We then went to the gym and acted out their super hero story. This time, the kids put together the set, became the characters THEY created, and acted out their original story with a beginning, middle, and end. And everyone was satisfied. It looks like today, the “super heroes” really did save the day!
Jill Perry, MS, MPH, OTR/L