I started off this topic with a letter addressed to Reception. It was from the Joker to say that he had kidnapped all of the small world superhero characters. The children were outraged and I feigned serious distress! We hadn’t set anything on the tables that morning because we wanted to see what the children would come up with. A few of them suggested building a trap to catch the Joker.
I jumped on this idea suggesting that the children work together to plan and design a trap and that we could then go outside and build them. To say that there was a writing buzz is an understatement. Almost every single child wanted to design a trap. Some worked alone and others worked together, drawing and writing on big sheets of sugar paper.
The children used a variety of materials outdoors to build their traps…
Some of the girls chose to remain indoors and made a trap using the small wooden blocks. They explained that the red pom poms were bombs – terrifying!The following day the Joker delivered another note, taunting the class, explaining that their traps hadn’t worked and that he was still at large. He told them to look out for signs saying ‘superhero challenge’ around the setting. If the children were able to complete the challenges he would begin to return a few of the superheroes each day.
These challenges lasted over a period of about 2 weeks and appeared indoors and out, some times popping up on the interactive whiteboard during phonics and others in their home learning folders. Below are some pictures of the various challenges.
Shoot the Baddies
Outside the kids found one of the signs on the side of the shed along with some pictures of various baddies with tricky words superimposed on top. Their task here was to shout out the tricky word and then shoot the baddie with a gun from Poundland.
Free the Superheroes
At the funky fingers table their task was to free the superheroes who had been tied up (threaded).
Each padlock had a number to 20 written on it. The keys all had tags attached with instructions ‘1 less than ….’ The children had to find the padlock that was one less than the number on the key. The children absolutely loved this activity and were queuing up to have a turn!
Another challenge was for the children to make a superhero salad. They had to pick their favourite ingredient, choose between 1-5 pieces and then double the portion.
I used polystyrene plates from Poundland and thought they were a great visual aid for teaching the concept of doubling.
They put one set of ingredients in one side of the plate and then the equivalent amount in the other side, hence calculating the double. They then counted how many pieces altogether into the central compartment.
For the more able children I had them record their answers on a recipe sheet.
Later in the week we also set out potion making ingredients in the mud kitchen, along with some writing frames. We used strong scented items such as ginger, lemon and herbs under the premise that the strong smell would help to keep the Joker at bay. They absolutely loved it as you can see from the photos below…
Superhero Role Play
We also developed a superhero den indoors. We kept it relatively simple with a dark tent, lots of superhero books, torches, writing frames and some craft supplies for costume making.
The topic of superheroes always captivates the children. We got some fabulous writing and independent learning over the few weeks we ran it. Even now they blame anything that gets broken, or goes missing, on the Joker 🙂