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Passion For Learning

The Avengers vs. Sherlock Holmes: Who Are Your Favorite Superheroes?

May 3, 2012 4:44pm (EDT)

Sherlock Holmes

This weekend is bliss for superhero lovers like myself. In movie theaters, the epic comic book action film, The Avengers arrives. On Sunday, May 6, the second season of Sherlock Holmes premieres on GPB at 10 p.m. I can’t wait. There are several reasons to love these seminal characters that are tied to education.

I love The Avengers for two reasons. I read the comic as a seventh grader. Already an avid reader, I was pleasantly surprised to find many “complicated words” sprinkled throughout its pages. Words like “horde”, “intrepid”, and “bombastic”.

Through comic books, students can strengthen their command of the English language. It may particularly improve the reading comprehension of uninterested and problematic readers. Here is an Avengers-themed quiz to challenge your young readers. (Can you define cyclopean?)

I became interested in PBS's Sherlock Holmes because of the big movie and television treatments of the character. What I enjoy the most about the PBS iteration of Holmes is that he is elevated to a super hero. Like Batman, he doesn’t have any mutant powers or scientific enhancements; instead, he uses his power of deduction, keen sense of observation, and technology (like GPS and text messages) to solve his cases.

Watching Holmes on television makes me want to read the original stories. This is a wonderful exercise for students as well. Encourage them to compare and contrast how the Victorian era Holmes is similar yet different to the 21st century one. What “technology” did he use way back then to find the answers to his mysteries?

As to which superheroes are my favorite: Holmes or The Avengers? The Avengers at the moment - specifically Wanda the Scarlet Witch who isn’t in the movie :) But I also love Thor because he derives from the Norse myths - yet another wonderful source of reading material.

Which superhero character is your favorite? Chime in and let us know.

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