Teaching Argument with Superfights

Is this an entire unit, no. Is this a fun activity to get kids thinking about claims, premises, and evidence? Absolutely! If you’re into fun, read on.

Superfight is a card game that my family loves playing. It’s based on the age-old “who would win in a fight, Wolverine or Aquaman” question (Wolverine…no debate). The game is designed to help players build a character, and then argue why they would win against another opponent.  It’s great for camping trips, by the way.

So, why not bring it into the classroom? To do so, I deviated from the rules. Here’s what I came up with.

I began by putting my students (9th-10th combo) into small groups and passing out the graphic organizerSuperFightsEach group was given a character card (white) such as mermaid, over-sugared kindergarten class, Iron Man, etc.  I then handed out a stack of attribute cards (black) such as: has jellyfish for hands, can control animals, controls a Tween army, etc) and the kids got to choose any three.  This created their warrior.

Once they had their warrior dialed in, they use a shared computer to find internet sources proving why each attribute was powerful. I alleviated the need to find hard-core credible sources for this activity…anything would do. Kids found things like articles on jelly-fish poison, the scalability of a person’s weight to height, and proved the unpredictability of tweens via Psychology Today.

After the research phase, they named their warrior and wrote up an advertisement for them stating why they would be the best warrior the world has ever seen. Each advertisement was required to have a claim, three cited pieces of evidence, and a conclusion.

Socrative1130Lastly, they took their group’s paragraph and typed it into a short-answer prompt on Socrative.com to share with the class.  When they were all finished, a vote was held, and eternal glory was won!

Through this activity, students worked collaboratively curating evidence to support their claim of “greatest warrior.” They practiced citing that with sources in a light-hearted and fun way with a mild dose of healthy, low-stakes competition.



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