Even Superheroes Have Bad Days: Activities for School Counseling

Over the summer, I picked up the book, Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker. I instantly knew it would be a counseling shelf staple for a long, long time! This book describes all of the destructive, hurtful, unkind things superheroes have the power to do when they are upset but choose not to do. The author beautifully highlights how superheroes can feel sad, angry, or disappointed and still turn their bad days into good days by helping others and making the world a better place to be. Superheroes are a classic theme that all students love, and your students will love these activities for Even Superheroes Have Bad Days!

Activities for Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

Hero or Hero-in-Training?

This book fits in perfectly with my superhero classroom guidance lesson unit and is a great introduction to the coping skills lesson or a discussion on behavior. To discuss behavior, make cards with “bad day behaviors” and let students decide if the behaviors are something a hero would or would not do. For this activity, students can sort behaviors into categories of Hero or Hero-in-Training (I prefer this term over villain). The Hero-in-Training hasn’t quite figured out yet which behaviors are appropriate and which are not when they are feeling upset! The Hero knows that when he or she is having a bad day, it’s okay to feel sad but it isn’t okay to hurt other people or things.

This activity will help students to identify adaptive or appropriate ways to respond or act when they’re having a bad day as well as choices that aren’t so great. I love it because it allows students to really compare and evaluate choices they are currently making and identify positive alternative “hero behaviors” they can choose instead. You can use the simple sort with an individual or give it to small groups to get them talking about the options. Or you can turn it into a movement-based activity for the whole class! Read one of the cards and have students move to a specific area in the room to indicate their response. Or have students do jumping jacks to indicate hero behavior and little hops to indicate hero-in-training. Anything to get them moving and engaged! Here’s a look at what a bag sort version looks like:

Be a Superhero in Someone’s Bad Day

Turn it around and ask students how they know when other people are having bad days. Make a list of things to look for like sitting alone, looking down, crying, eyebrows furrowed, etc.  Then make a list of how superheroes can help others who are having a bad day. This promotes empathy, understanding, and kindness: the trifecta 🙂

Do you have this book yet? What are your favorite activities for Even Superheroes Have Bad Days? If you don’t have it yet, check it out with the link below! I’m sure it’ll be a hit with your students!

(This is an affiliate link. That means that if you click this link and make a purchase, I do receive a small commission. I am not being paid to promote this book; I just really think it’s awesome and the small commission helps me fund this blog 🙂 I’ll never share anything I don’t love!)

If you love this book, you’ll also love The Bad Seed! Check out a couple of activities to go along with that title. What other must-have titles should I know about?! Let me know in the comments section!

Happy Counseling! -Counselor Keri


Activities for Even Superheroes Have Bad Days to use in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling or individual counseling to help your students find superhero behaviors to choose even when they're having a bad day!





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