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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Is Superman Really All That Super? Critically Exploring Superheroes

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shelley Hong Xu

Long Beach, California


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps





  • Books:

    Books from the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)

    Books from the Ricky Ricotta series by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)

    John Henry by Julius Lester (Dial Books, 1994)

    Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs (Dutton Children's Books, 1994)

    Davy Crockett Saves the World by Rosalyn Schanzer (HarperCollins, 2001)

    Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen (HarperTrophy, 2003)

    Golem by David Wisniewski (Clarion Books, 1996)

  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability or tablet devices

  • Overhead projector and transparencies

  • LCD projector (optional)

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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

The Venn Diagram app allows users to compare and contrast information in a visually appealing way.


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1. Before teaching this lesson, make sure your students are familiar with the idea of character traits and character development in stories. You may want to teach "Inferring How and Why Characters Change" or "Charlotte is Wise, Patient, and Caring: Adjectives and Character Traits."

2. Obtain and familiarize yourself with one or two of the books from Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants or Ricky Ricotta series. Choose one of these books to share with students during Session 3.

3. Obtain five or six copies of each of the following books:
  • John Henry by Julius Lester

  • Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs

  • Davy Crockett Saves the World by Rosalyn Schanzer

  • Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen

  • Golem by David Wisniewski
4. Make copies of My Favorite Superheroes, Traits of Superheroes From Books, Guiding Questions for Exploring Superheroes, and the Exploring Superheroes Chart for each student in the class. Make some extra copies of the chart for groups to use in Session 4 (see Step 9). Make a transparency of Our Favorite Superheroes and Traits of Superheroes From Books.

5. If you do not have classroom computers available, reserve one session in your school's computer lab (see Session 4).

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