AP Psychology Create Your Own Superhero!
1 Hook/Attention Getter: CrashCourse Psychology
Students will begin this activity by viewing two CrashCourse Psychology videos available on YouTube:
This may be accomplished by viewing the videos in class or at home prior to beginning this lesson.
Students should make notes on terms they are unfamiliar with and be prepared to discuss.
Teacher will lead a short in-class discussion on new terms along with connections to prior knowledge.
2 Direct Instruction: Introduction to Biological Bases of Behavior
Students should have read and taken notes on the relevant textbook chapters for this unit. In Myers Psychology 8e, these would be chapters 2 and 3.
Teacher should review key concepts. A great resource for this is www.appsychology.com. Student and teacher created PowerPoints. Students enjoy the graphics and content.
3 Guided Practice: Presentation of a Sample Superhero
Utilizing Marvel's Create Your Own Superhero resource, teacher will lead the class in developing a Superhero. Care should be taken to give justification for costume choies, superpowers, etc.
In the alternative, I have had an AP Art Student who enjoys anime come in as a guest illustrator and work on the whiteboard or large sheets of butcher paper (usually used for bulletin boards).
4 Independent Practice: Design Your Own Superhero
Give the following instructions to students:
Science fiction writers are always searching for good ideas for plots that will capture the interest of their readers. A common premise was that radiation somehow altered biological processes, transforming normal human beings into superhumans, some good and some evil. One example is the Incredible Hulk.
Your task is to create your own superhero by pretending that it is possible to magnify the abilities governed in selective sites in the human brain. You may find it helpful to begin by listing the component parts of the brain and their functions. Identify the area of the brain that would have to be altered to accomplish skills you have determined are important for your character. You
must choose nine (9) of these components to include
in your superhero. Some of these components will be necessary toaccommodate the characters new skills while some will be the ones altered to produce the new characteristics.
You will need to:
Draw your superhero (can use clip art, draw, or use
http://marvel.com/games/play/31/create_your_own_superhero) (10 points)
Design a costume/outfit that reflects his/her main
ability (20 points)
Name your character (10 points)
Determine the super abilities she/he possess (20 points)
Identify the brain structures that will need to be augmented or damaged to accommodate the new super skill (30 points)
Identify a simple plot that would encourage this superhero to come to the rescue (10 points)
In the past, I have allowed students to work in pairs with one partner designing the superhero and one the super villain.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.