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The movie, Black Panther, was inspirational and insightful. There were so many themes addressed in the movie ranging from race, identity, and dignity to technological advancement, service, and cooperation.
Although my son is too young to see the movie, I was inspired to share the experience with him. Therefore, we did the following interactive activities below…
We checked out two Black Panther books, Meet Black Panther by R.R. Busse and This is Black Panther by Alexandra West. The books introduced the characters and their roles. It also addressed themes such as good vs bad, courage, hard work, intelligence, instinct, loyalty, etc. One of the books identified vocabulary words and asked the reader to find them within the story. My son became excited when he saw the words in the story!
Application through Playful Literacy
Once my son and I became familiar with the characters, I purchased the action figures. We identified the characters and created stories while playing. In our story, Nakia (Black Panther’s friend), Shuri (Black Panther’s sister), and Okoye (head of armed forces) were kidnapped by Erik Killmonger (villain). T’Challa (Black Panther) rescues them and saves the day. Killmonger was put in “time out” for kidnapping T’Challa’s friends and family.
Setting and Geography
Black Panther takes place in Wakanda which is a fictitious country in Africa. We looked on a globe and found Africa. My son loves animals so we identified some that live in Africa such as zebras, elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, and tigers. We also talked about African resources like diamonds, sugar, salt, gold, and cobalt. We were able to find diamonds, sugar, salt and gold around the house and by viewing images on the Internet. I showed my son a smart phone and told him most contain cobalt, which is produced in the Congo. We ended this lesson by finding the Congo on the globe.
We incorporated action verbs within our play. During our story, my son made the action figures flip, jump, run, spin, sleep, and fly in the air. As my son played, I identified the action verb in which he made the characters move. For example, if Okoye and T’Challa hit the pillow and bounced off, I shouted “Whoa look at them ricochet off the pillow!”
In Black Panther books and movie, Shuri is a technological genius of Wakanda. She invented beads that could stop a truck full of kidnappers. She also invented Black Panther’s suit which absorbs attacks during fights. The gadgets Shuri creates have super abilities to protect Wakanda.
During play, my son and I pretended balls and blocks were gadgets. They were used to save Black Panther’s friends and family from Erik Kilmonger. We also talked about gadgets around the home that keeps us safe such as the security camera, motion sensing lights, and alarm system.
My son enjoyed the activities and continues to find new ways to create more stories with his action figures!
Tell us in the comments how a Superhero has inspired activities in your household and classroom.
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