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August 6, 2014 posted by littlewhitecottage

Day 1 of Superhero week…

The boys love superheroes. I can’t really get across to you just how much Henry, in particular, loves superheroes. I think it’s the strength, the size, the fact that they are cool and they have the best gadgets any boy could possibly want to have. Iron man is his favourite but Thor comes a pretty close second.

This week I wanted to do something structured with lots of fun, drawing, making, thinking, talking and (dare I say it?) writing. I know that sitting down and writing on your school holidays isn’t the most exciting thing to do when you’re dyslexic but not doing anything at all is also a really bad idea so I had to think of something they’d like to do that uses a whole lot of skills but above all, and for me this is the most important thing, is have some fun.

Superheroes it is then….

My eldest finds ordering his thoughts particularly difficult so I thought I wrote a short list of the things that we would be doing that day and pinned it up so all the boys could see.

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I included tick boxes at the end of the sentences so they can see what they’ve done and what they’ve got to do.

I did explain that a project plan can change in that you can choose not to do certain things but you can also add more ideas if you need to. I wanted them to know that it’s a tool to help get the work done, get the ideas out, help order your thoughts but not something set in concrete.

The boys used a mind map to just think about what a superhero was…

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I particularly love Tobes’ ‘have a go’ writing in red across the bottom. It says ‘I love superheroes’ perfectly backwards.

We then moved on to some hot debating after some of the things the boys said.

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This surprised me partly because not being into superheroes myself it isn’t something I’d really thought of but apparently Batman, Spider man and Iron man aren’t actually superheroes they are just heroes as they need something to help them be super. Superman, on the other hand, has had his ‘human-ness’ altered so he’s a true superhero. I have to say it got quite heated in the kitchen when Hubbie popped in to make a coffee and casually threw into the conversation that ‘Actually Spider man’s ‘human-ness has been altered…’ That had Ollie spluttering over his indignation.

The boys also pointed out that a Superhero needs villains to fight against.

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…and that set us off into a whole new realm of what makes a super villain a super villain and not just a villain.

The boys listed out all the superheroes they could think of and Ollie came up with this way or recording all their thoughts. I was really pleased as this is the stage where Ollie usually gives up and phases out of any activity. He categorised using ‘superheroes/ heroes’ and ‘super villains/ villains’ he used a ruler to mark out the columns – I didn’t do anything.

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 Here’s the finished piece of writing.

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I’m not bothered about spelling, writing style, legibility or anything just that Ollie managed to do this by himself and he was pretty chuffed. Henry wrote ‘Batman’ in black at the top so that’s good too. By this point I had lost Tobes though. He’s not really into superheroes and was just busy getting on with drawing and designing his superhero. This is fine as it’s not for me to make him do something he’s really not into. I don’t want to put him off.

The boys used Google to research more superheroes. They were pleased with what they could remember but happy to add more!

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Henry printed out a picture of the Joker -he liked his costume with all the question marks. We had a chat about what a question mark is and why it should be on Riddler’s costume.

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They then set about designing their own superheroes taking into consideration all that they had thought about in their chatting, debating and brainstorming.

This is Henry’s ‘Two face.’ Henry struggles at the moment to get what’s in his head on paper exactly how he can see it so this is a really good picture for him.

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This is Tobes ‘Fantastic’

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I particularly love this as he struggled with writing a capital ‘F’ so Henry showed him how. You can see their try’s on the left.

This is Tobes’ other design ‘Stretchy Man’

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And here is Ollie’s ‘Elemental Woman’

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He’s very pleased with her and so he should be!

Here’s Tobes and Hen busily drawing.

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Hen got a bit stressed as the drawings weren’t going quite his way so he disappeared off to his room for a few minutes on his own (he does this when he’s stressed) and after a while he came downstairs with ‘Magnetic Man!’ of whom he was very proud.

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This is interesting as it’s a merge between traditional superheroes and transformers -which he’s also into.

He made Magnetic Man change into a plane…

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Here’s the ‘booster’s’

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He was much happier with his design.

It’s been really interesting seeing how the boys tackle a project with such different ideas -and levels of enthusiasm! Tobes isn’t into the chatting, discussing side of things as he’s very definite in his ideas (sometimes this is a negative though) and wanted to get straight on with the designing. Ollie and Hen were happy to chat and argue about the categorising of superheroes ’till the cows came home!

Henry was frustrated with drawing as he couldn’t get out quite what was in his head so having some extra thinking time he found a way using something else.

My boys think differently, work differently and produce their ‘work’ very differently but all get to the same point in their own time.

Here’s Tobes still ‘cuttin’, stickin’ pastin’ as Hubbie and I call it. (The equivalent to ‘huntin’, fishin’, shootin’)

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A really good days activity and we’re looking forward to day 2 where they will be writing their own comic using an online writing tool.

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