In this panel from The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963), a test-piloted space capsule is flying wildly off course, threatening earth-dwellers below. Having commandeered a plane, Spider-Man is the only person who can fix the capsule so that it doesn’t crash. Here, as the action hero attaches himself to the spacecraft, 5th grade teacher Dan Tandarich delivers a literacy lesson…
Students can use this “cliffhanger” to predict possible outcomes. Doing so stretches their creativity and reinforces the strategy of “stopping and thinking,” to clarify meaning and to anticipate a character’s actions.
Summarizing/identifying text structure
This illustration offers an example of the problem-solution model—without the solution. Students look for details to help summarize the situation. It gets them thinking about how authors organize their work and what structures they use to present ideas.
Today’s word is “altitude.” Based on the situation, the location of the capsule, and the effects of gravity, what does the word mean? Clarification can be sought through contextual clues—the capsule’s distance above the horizon, for example.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2006 edition of Teacher as Making Spidey Sense