Spiderman: A Marvel ongoing series
Lesson: With great power comes great responsibility.
Synopsis: This story is found in Amazing Fantasy #15 that was reprinted from the original Amazing Fantasy from1962. This is the first appearance of Spider-Man. The story goes that Peter Parker was a smart kid who didn’t fit in at school (the kids teased him). He gets bitten by a radioactive spider and develops his powers. In his efforts to become famous and to show all the kids at school that he wasn?t a loser, Peter lets a crook (who is being chased by a police officer) go free. When asked why he didn?t stop him, Peter replies that it isn?t his job. Later, Peter returns home to find that his Uncle Ben (who he lived with) had been killed by a thief who broke in. Swearing revenge, Peter finds out the where about of the thief only to discover it was the man he let go earlier. The comic ends with a Peter Parker learning the heavy lesson: With great power comes great responsibility.
*Note: You can find this story reprinted in several collected works, or if you have access to a DVD player, the first Spiderman movie did an excellent job in capturing the spirit of the comic.
Lesson Based on Amazing Fantasy #15
First have students pick a superpower that they would like to have (a good way is to brainstorm ideas together as a class and then have the students select from the generated list). Have the students free write about what they would do with their chosen power. The teacher should emphasize to the students about the how the choices they make could be different. Teachers may have students share their stories with the class (stories shouldn?t be more then a couple of pages worth of free write).
Next, the students should read Amazing Fantasy #15 (or watch the 1st Spiderman movie). Discuss the ideas of decision making and then dealing with consequences. Stress the idea of Cause and Effect.
Now, ask the students to identify a special talent or skill that they may posses. Have them free write on what kind of responsibility they have because of that skill. Another route that I have taken is to discuss the power that comes with privileges (i.e. Staying home when parents are away, Driving a car, Voting, Drinking, etc.)
To wrap up this project, you can give the students a scenario that they have to imagine themselves in. This scenario will call for them to make a decision. It is their job to write a Cause and Effect paper that illustrate the catalyst that comes from the decision and what the possible outcomes could be.
* Note: If the teacher decides to focus on the powers that come with privileges, this might also be a good time for the students to be aware of certain groups with in the school that may deal with certain issues like (S.A.D.D., Student Council, or other organizations that can offer up living proof of choices made and their consequences).
Skills: Writing, Research, and Critical Thinking.