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When SUPERHEROES INVADE Your Classroom

By Adele M. Brodkin, Ph.D.

Many children are completely at ease with the opportunity to play out their feelings and fantasies. Their play is rich with language opportunities, wonderfully interactive and cognitively complex. But for some, that play draws heavily on contemporary media fare, especially television programming. Result-the ubiquitous "superheroes" invade your classroom and bring aggressive themes (perhaps bordering on violence) too close for comfort. What do you do?

First, don't be shocked. It is going to happen because today, superheroes are everywhere and they are cleverly designed to appeal to children's normal strivings for mastery. And you don't want to squelch the creativity and spontaneity expressed. What's more, making an issue about the immorality of the characters could backfire and make the superheroes even more appealing. It's best to calmly and gently guide the play toward another resolution that puts the power in the child's own character. You might say, "What if instead of 'Dynaboy' doing the rescuing, you are the hero. You are strong and kind and help everyone else get along."

Praise the play's positive attributes. If it's an interesting story, praise the dear way it is told, and all the details about the characters and events children demonstrate.

When feasible, guide the dramas that contain violence toward another resolution.

Encourage children who may be stuck on such repetitive themes to branch out. Provide interesting props and offer ideas that can lead to other play scenarios.

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    39 Clues, The: Cahill Files: Operation Trinity

    39 Clues, The: Cahill Files: Operation Trinity

    by Clifford Riley

    For 500 years, the Cahills have been the most powerful family in the world. For 500 years, they've protected the source of their power - the 39 Clues. And for 500 years, they've kept their secrets silent. Until now.

    This extraordinary stand-alone novel cracks open the Cahill vault to tell the story of the most coveted piece of artwork in the world, a masterpiece that has been the target of seven separate theft attempts: Jan van Eyck’s altarpiece at Ghent. OPERATION TRINITY chronicles the first Vesper attack on the altarpiece in the 1600s, then jumps to WWII and young Grace Cahill’s desperate bid to save the masterwork from the Nazis. The final piece of the novel tells the story of Ian and Natalie Kabra’s first solo operation and features an 11th hour appearance by Grace Cahill on her final mission.

    History will never be the same.

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    CD | Grades 4-7
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    39 Clues, The: Cahill Files: Operation Trinity
    Grades 4-7 $19.99
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    25 Science Plays for Beginning Readers

    25 Science Plays for Beginning Readers

    by Sheryl Ann Crawford and Nancy I. Sanders

    Teach key science concepts and build reading fluency with these engaging and easy-to-read plays on animals, habitats, life cycles, health and human body, plants and seeds, weather, and more. Reproducible plays include rhyme, repetition, and predictable language to help young learners build reading confidence. Extension activities teach and reinforce key concepts and vocabulary. For use with Grades KŠ2.

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    books;teaching resources;professional books | Ages 4-8
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    25 Science Plays for Beginning Readers
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