Becoming a Superhero

9, 10, 11, 12

Students will recognize the aspects of the hero/superhero in themselves, take action on a social issue about which they care deeply, and reflect on that experience through writing.

Lesson Rating 
PrintThree Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify a community issue about which s/he cares deeply.
  • conduct an inquiry demonstrating research using a variety of resources.
  • choose and successfully complete a service activity to make a positive impact on the problem researched.
  • synthesize what s/he has done and how it relates to the rest of the unit by writing a paper demonstrating competency in the writing process and containing elements of reflection.
  • Ways to Give to Your Community (Handout One)
  • Final Paper Assignment and Rubric (Handout Two) Spanish version (Handout Three)
Home Connection 

Although it is not required, students should be encouraged to work with their parents as they research their social issue and determine the action to be taken as part of a solution. Volunteering at an agency or writing letters to their Congress people would be a great opportunity for parents and students to spend time together.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

  2. Bring in current newspaper/magazine articles from a variety of sources that address social problems in the community/world today. Spread them all over the classroom (be sure to have one for every student) and have students circulate around the room, browsing through articles. (You might want to have students bring in the articles.)

    • Discuss what surprised students, what bothered them, and which issues they'd like to change.
    • Have students pick an issue that they would like to change and research it.
    • Hand out Attachment One: Ways to Give to Your Community and discuss the ways that students can make a difference. Have them add to the list if necessary.
    • Hand out Attachment Two: Final Paper Assignment and Rubric and have students pick a service which they will then reflect upon in their final papers. You may want to give students additional class time after they have done their service to work on their papers.

Final Paper (Attachment Two: Final Paper Assignment and Rubric) Documentation of service (i.e., copies of letters sent to lawmakers, a signature from an agency where a student did service).

Cross Curriculum 

Students will perform a service activity of their choice that helps alleviate a problem that they have identified.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.