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This fun and engaging activity is perfect to incorporate when teaching about the Cold War. This activity connects the Cold War to comics and superheroes. First, students read a short reading about radioactivity during the Cold War and how it sparked Marvel Comics to launch The Incredible Hulk. The reading mentions how the government began a civil defense campaign to teach people what to do in case of a nuclear attack. I show my students the "Bert the Turtle" video, which they highly enjoy! Second, students create their own superhero by coming up with a name, drawing, and origin story. The superhero name, drawing, and origin story must be appreciate for the Cold War time period. In addition, students have to include one Cold War event that their superhero was involved in. I use this activity as an assessment at the end of my Cold War unit.
This activity took my students two days to brainstorm and then create their final product, however, you can definitely stretch this activity out to last a little longer. I was amazed by the creativity this project generated among my eighth grade students as they created original superheroes with historically accurate stories.