The Sea of Faith Network's Resources for Schools

25. Are superheroes real?

INTRODUCTION

There are some people that have done things that people would never have imagined possible. Can you think of anyone?

We all have heroes, role models, people we admire.

Show the children these images:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Batman
British Gold Medal Winner
Harry Potter
Nelson Mandela
Hanuman

Ask:

  • What is a hero? What is a superhero?
  • Could any of these people be classed as superheroes? Why?

ACTIVITY

A website ran a survey to find out what qualities people admire most in others. Here are some responses:

What qualities do you admire most in the people you admire most?

  • I tend to be idealistic at times, so someone who’s different from me, who can be realistic, who can logically explain possible solutions, is my hero.
  • My hero is someone who has the courage to speak up. I don’t know many people who can do that!
  • Whatever qualities Jesus, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi had. They took a long time to get to their convictions but they stuck by what they believed until the world came round to seeing their point of view.
  • To me, a hero is someone who has a very clear idea of the welfare of everyone and how to protect it.
  • I know what I want and have the faith I will get there. Maybe one day I can be a hero.
  • Want to be a hero? Be a go-getter!
  • The ability to inspire others to action is probably the quality I admire the most, partly because it is rare to find.
  • Problem solving of well-known problems that no one else could solve.
  • First, and foremost, honesty. This is the foundation of every great person I’ve known so a hero will need this too.
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say. That’s a good rule for a hero.
  • Intelligence is a must. I admire people that challenge me intellectually and make me think in new ways.
  • Passion, people have to really care about what they do and say, it pulls it all together.
  • The people I admire the most never quit on themselves or others.

Play a ‘continuum lines’ activity to explore what qualities children admire most. Explain that one end of the room stands for ‘strongly agree’ and the other for ‘strongly disagree’. Read out each statement above, one at a time. Encourage them to stand at the point in the room that best represents what they think about the statement given. Ask one person to record approximate numbers for each position along the continuum for each statement.

Pick a few children each time to explain why they have chosen to stand where they are.

Explain to the children that the statements they explored looked at the following traits:

practicality          courage                     determination               vision

acting justly        being proactive          providing inspiration      humility

respect                problem-solving         honesty                         passion

Ask the children some of these questions (you will probably need to choose those most suitable to your group, rather than asking all of them):

  • Why do you think people picked these?
  • Do these characteristics make the people that exhibit them special? Heroes?
  • Are there any you don’t think are necessary?
  • What are the top three for you?
  • Are there any other characteristics that you admire in people?

CONCLUSION

Explain that a hero is a ‘person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.’

The story of David and Goliath in the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (1 Samuel 17) tells of David being an unlikely hero. Some Jews, Muslims and Christians believe that David’s faith in God caused him to look like a giant from a different perspective. They believe that God fought for David and with David and that enabled him to defeat Goliath.

Tell the children it has been said that a hero takes something ordinary and turns it into something extra-ordinary.

Ask:

  • Who was a hero in this story?
  • Can a person with great faith be classed a hero? Why? / Why not?

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

© Sea of Faith 2018

Sea of Faith is a Registered Charity no: 1113177

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