Superhero Students

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This year I decided to have a crack at having a mild superhero theme in my classroom. Problem is, I really believe that the classroom should be the students’ space, so I didn’t want to go all out creating a wall display that didn’t actually reflect any of their learning. After pondering for a few days, I decided on this idea- having my students reimagine themselves as superheroes. This formed the basis of our learning activities for the first week of school, and (I hope) helped to empower the students. This activity is actually a re-imagining of a Viking Ship art creation, which I wrote about here.

Before beginning their masterpieces, the students had already written a story about their superhero alter ego, and given themselves a cool hero name.

What You’ll Need:
Paint
A3 Cartridge Paper
A3 Copier Paper
A4 Copier Paper
Glue
Scissors
Photos of student’s faces
Superhero template (optional, but I used this one)
Anything but paintbrushes (our learning goal was to create texture in different ways, and the challenge was to do this without conventional tools)

 

  1. The first step is to create the background for the image. We used coloured A3 cartridge paper, and sponged on the sky colours we liked. Some students had created heroes that lived in the sea, so their backgrounds reflected this.
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  2. The next step is to create the two foreground layers. These will vary depending on where your superhero lives. I chose to create layers symbolising city and country. It is important that students create two pieces that are really different from the background and each other, so that they contrast. Each piece is A3 copier paper, cut in half lengthways.
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  3. The last painting step will form the superhero itself. Fold an A4 page in half, and fill each half with contrasting designs and colours.
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  4. Now the fun part- putting it all together! Take the two foreground designs, and tear or cut them in half lengthways. Experiment with shape to make the overlay interesting. I wanted mine to look like skyscrapers and hills. Glue each strip on to the background, starting from the top one. It is important to glue the lower and outer edges, but you may choose to leave the upper edge free to add interest.
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  5. Create your superhero! I gave the students the option of using a template to trace and cut around, or creating their own design. When the body is complete, cut the face out of your photograph and add that on too. Finally, position your superhero on the background, ready to save the day!
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