A Guide to Using SuperDville’s Videos and Companion Curriculum
Learn about all that our episodes and companion curriculum have to offer; from hands-on activities, intro letters for parents, SEL booklists, motivational printables and more. Watch our seven-minute tutorial and you will be ready to use SuperDville in any classroom, library, after-school setting or at home.
Scope and Sequence
All of our episodes include the five core CASEL competencies. Our research team identified three additional competencies for children with LD (belonging, learning goals, and resilience). Read our Elementary School White Paper and read our Middle School White Paper to find out more.
Our episode sequencing is research-based, with consideration of the developmentally appropriate stages for introducing each SEL theme.
Themes are repeated in multiple episodes, as repetition is crucial to a young learner’s mastery of new concepts. The video storylines become more advanced but they allow students to practice some of the same SEL themes from grade to grade.
The third-grade sequence emphasizes the foundational work of self-acceptance, creating a positive identity that will help students avoid developing shame around their academic achievement by:
- Exploring how everyone’s brain learns differently
- Discovering ways to build self-confidence
- Helping each student to accept and embrace the unique way their brain works
- Using their new confidence and acceptance skills to advocate for themselves
The skills included in the third grade series are: SELF-AWARENESS LEARNING GOALS BELONGING
The SuperD! kids get a flash drive delivery from Pepper the Pigeon. On the flash drive is a video from a SuperD! Show viewer who explains that sometimes she feels dumb and wishes she could think like a “non-dyslexic.” The kids introduce us to Professor Boom, a “mad” scientist, who explores the differences between a dyslexic and non-dyslexic brain. He helps us see that there are many similarities between the two but that they just approach problem-solving differently. The kids remind viewers that to think differently is to think smart!
Ari tells Dylan a story about how his friend Jace was bullied but how he found confidence through a special friend. After Jace is bullied about his learning differences at school, Pinkie, his guardian elf appears in his locker to present him with a special confidence hat. The next time Jace is approached by bullies, he is able to confidently stand up for himself, and he even shows them one of his special skills. He learns that confidence lies within.
Talk show host Suzie Sing interviews a real-life paleontologist Jack Horner (played by a SuperD! Cast member), who is dyslexic. Mr. Horner was a consultant on the movie Jurassic Park. Jack and Suzie sing about the seven dinosaur species. They also talk about using singing as a mnemonic strategy for memorizing important information, and about the possibility for a “chickenosaurus!”
Some of the SuperD! kids get a flash drive delivery from Pepper the Pigeon, with a message from a viewer who asks why comic books are easier to read than regular books. Professor Boom, with his trusty side-kick Hudson, help answer this question. They discover that the right brain, with its visual imagery, can help the left brain process the words on the page better. They remind us that everyone reads at a unique pace and that letting our right brain help out is a great strategy!
Hudson talks about using context clues to make reasonable guesses in situations when he feels anxious about struggling to read important information. Kids have lots of compensatory strategies that help them to understand the world, even if reading is challenging. All of those strategies show how smart kids with LD are.
The fourth-grade sequence continues to emphasize accepting differences and developing self-advocacy skills through:
- Understanding emotions
- Finding the confidence to take risks
- Exploring how to face challenging situations at home and school
- Celebrating each student’s inventive mind
- Learning not to compare ourselves with others
The skills included in this series are: SELF-AWARENESS LEARNING GOALS RESILIENCE
Ayanna tells her SuperD! friends that she’s having a problem at school. She goes to the Resource Room during class and doesn’t know what to tell the other kids when they ask where she’s been. Her friends tell her the best thing to do is to tell the truth. They show her all the fun ways they talk about the Resource Room and explain how it can be a great place to get help and build useful strategies.
Dylan’s homework machine has a few glitches, so along with some of her SuperD! Show friends, she watches an episode of “Pig Pen” (based on the show Shark Tank) to learn about what kinds of inventions thrive. Inventions like test-taking glasses, smarty pants, and even a basketball-themed mug that you can throw marshmallows into make an appearance. Dylan realizes that if she keeps trying (like Thomas Edison), she can be a great inventor!
Jordan competes in a cooking show against a strong competitor. They are both given a recipe, which her competitor follows to a T. Since Jordan has a hard time reading the recipe, she decides to follow her creative instincts, works at her own pace, and does a great job! The SuperD! kids reaffirm relying on your own strengths.
The SuperD! kids realize Ari is missing as they are picking teams for their wiffle ball game in the park. Ari realizes that he forgot all about the game, and getting there ends up being harder than he thought. He has trouble reading a map, and telling the difference between his left from his right. Luckily, he’s visited by a whimsical older man who gives him a creative and fun new strategy to find the wiffle ball field. Ari realizes that if you can’t do something the “typical way,” there’s always an alternative!
BE HONEST ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED
Ayanna talks about the importance of being honest with teachers about your needs.
It can be really helpful to pause and think things through if you are having trouble understanding something
You can ask your teachers to slow down if they are moving too fast. This is an important skill to build!”
MY COMMUNITY OF DYSLEXICS
Charlie talks about finding pride in her dyslexia once she realized how large the community is. She advocates for other people with dyslexia to share their stories. -Lots of people have learning differences and its cool to connect with other people who share this identity. You can see all of the experiences you have in common and how normal it is to have LD.
THE UPS AND MORE UPS OF ADHD
Ari talks about how his adhd makes his imagination feel like a rollercoaster, and that while rollercoasters are scary, they are also fun! It can be helpful to have an understanding of how your brain works. The more you know how you think, the more you can find ways to support yourself using your strengths and natural learning patterns.
The 5th grade curriculum focuses on developing strategies to deal with the stress of academic and social pressure, and increasing outside expectations through:
- Accepting/Normalizing anxiety as something many students deal with
- Explore new ways of facing obstacles by using them to grow and thrive
- Practice self-acceptance
- Develop tools for self-advocacy
The skills included in this series are: SELF-AWARENESS LEARNING GOALS SELF-MANAGEMENT RESILIENCE
Jace is down on himself for getting a 5/10 on a spelling test. But, his SuperD! friends remind him to never give up. Jordan tells a story about the best advice a teacher ever gave her: “the only things you can fail at are the things you give up on.” Jace feels better, and realizes that with a little perseverance he’ll get better at spelling!
Kaia has anxiety around homework. Her SuperD! Show friends talk about different ways they handle their stress. They agree that avoiding it isn’t the best idea, and show some other options like yoga poses, meditation, and exercise as alternatives. They remind us that we can use any of these strategies in our own way.
Some of the SuperD! kids encourage Charlie to open her own clothing line by showing her an episode of a “Suzie Sings” talk show they recently saw. Suzie interviews Daymond John of Shark Tank fame (played by a SuperD! Cast member) who started a successful clothing line by having musicians wear his designs. Daymond does a rap about his dyslexia to remind us that no matter how we learn, we’re all capable of big things.
Ari has been procrastinating doing his homework and is stressed about it. Hudson is fast asleep because he stayed up until midnight doing his homework. The SuperD! Show kids decide life would be easier if they didn’t have dyslexia or ADHD. But, when they think deeply about what life would look like, they realize it would be pretty boring. They all agree that their respective learning strategies, even if they take longer, help them absorb information better. Ari even realizes how many creative and interesting projects he gets done when he’s procrastinating!
THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF ADHD
Ari explains the benefits of building detours through his brain, and that while he might get to the destination more slowly, he enjoys exploring. “Sometimes processing info more slowly is a marker that a person’s thinking is more broad and they are making more connections. There is no better or worse way to think–all ways of thinking have their benefits and downsides.
PRACTICING READING OUT IN THE WORLD
Kia talks about finding ways to practice reading in the world around her (with the support of her parents). “Practicing reading can be fun. Reading is a core part of life but not all reading is books and scientific articles, its also street signs and cereal boxes.”
The 6th grade sequence deepens many of the themes present in the earlier grades while introducing new skills to meet the increased responsibilities of middle school academics and growing social awareness of preadolescent students.
- Leveraging strengths to independently overcome challenges
- Navigating conflict in peer relationships
- Taking ownership of learning with self-advocacy strategies
The skills included in this series are: RESILIENCE BELONGING LEARNING GOALS
After learning of a threat to recess time at his school, Alex rushes to the W.U.N.D.R studio to get the story out. There, he meets a team of hard-working reporters–who are all kids with learning differences! As they prepare to go live with the story, Alex is intimidated and thinks to himself, “Wow, they’re all so confident. I wish I could be a part of their team.” As he attempts to sneak out of the studio, Elsworth catches him and encourages him to think about what his unique strengths are. Alex realizes that the WUNDR team only has this key story because he is observant. The team needs his talent and he is named their Resident Story Finder. The W.U.N.D.R team reminds us that confidence doesn’t come from being good at everything; it comes from discovering what makes you special!
After receiving a tip that Tiana, an honest and hardworking student, received an F because her teacher thinks she is lying about her missing homework, the W.U.N.D.R team sends Rowan on an investigation to get to the bottom of the story. While out on the investigation, Rowan struggles to focus on the matter at hand and is constantly distracted by his surroundings. Tiana is frustrated with Rowan’s interest in everything but her homework and exclaims, “my whole life is at stake and you’re supposed to help!” Then Rowan has an epiphany. All of the seemingly random things that he has noticed come together to tell the story of Tiana’s missing homework and confirm her innocence. When brought in to share the story on air, Rowan reflects that his struggle to focus is simultaneously his greatest challenge and his greatest strength.
When the W.U.N.D.R team pursues a story on the endangered blue face rail bird, resident inventor Dustin is charged with creating a contraption that will allow them to film in high places. He offers them a design for stilts that he has developed, but they dismiss his hard work in favor of an easy solution. Discouraged, Dustin rips his designs to shreds, but Tiana and Lily catch him in the act and Lily tells him “you shouldn’t give up just because other people don’t fully understand your invention.” Dustin, bolstered by their words, decides to persevere and after taping up his designs, races to his shop to create the stilts in time for the shoot. Meanwhile, on the trail of the endangered blue face rail bird, the team is realizing that their easy fix wasn’t a fix at all, and that they have no way of capturing the footage they need of tree-top bird nests. When he finally arrives, Dustin towers over everyone with his feet strapped into his successful invention and easily shoots a close-up of a bird and her eggs for their broadcast story. Through perseverance and a growth mindset, Dustin is able to overcome discouragement and use his talents to benefit all.
When the W.U.N.D.R team discovers that Atias is secretly a ping-pong champion, they set out to do a story on his preparation for the upcoming national tournament. On camera, Atias finds himself unable to articulate his feelings about the game and is overwhelmed by the WUNDR team’s glowing response to his talent. After he races away from the table, Logan finds him and they are able to talk through his emotions. He realizes that his relationship to ping-pong is not about the rush and roar of competition. By taking the time to identify his emotions, Atias is able to make the decision to withdraw from the tournament and return to playing ping-pong for the reasons he fell in love with it: relaxation and meditation.
When Willa is asked to count 1,000 cranes ahead of seeing a movie and eating pizza with her friends, she is immediately filled with dread. Because she has dyscalculia, she knows that this already tedious task will be even more unpleasant for her. She manages to tally up 500 cranes, and after her hard work, decides to take a quick break and play a game on her phone. But she quickly is sucked into the game and only emerges when her friends come to see if she will be joining them. Disappointed but determined to at least be done by pizza time, Willa hides her phone deep into her backpack and jumps into finishing her counting task. Through missing the movie, Willia feels the sting of the consequences of procrastination, but after eventually finding focus, is able to enjoy pizza with her friends.
After her first year on the W.U.N.D.R team, Kaylee is given the opportunity to become an anchor! But instead of being excited, Kaylee is nervous because she doesn’t feel comfortable reading the teleprompter. As her anxiety spirals, Kaylee feels overwhelmed by her looming debut in front of the camera. Juniper finds her hiding in the bathroom and gives her a mantra to help her remember that she is going on air because she has earned it through hard, meaningful work as “a smart and powerful reporter” and that if she stumbles, she will “stumble with style.” With her new perspective, Kaylee is able to walk onto the W.U.N.D.E.R set with confidence, and work through her anxiety by asking for what she needs.
Ahead of a special episode of W.U.N.D.R’s Got Talent, Kaylee backs out of plans to put on a magic show with Juniper, and tells Juniper that she instead is performing a dance with Willa. Though they feel hurt and excluded, Juniper buries their feelings and tells Kaylee that they are fine with the change. Meanwhile, Logan is practicing the song she plans to perform on the show, but is interrupted by Atias and Rowan, who have shown up just to bully her about her hairstyle. Both upset, Logan and Juniper run into each other on the roof and write a song about their feelings. When they perform their song on the show, they both wow the judges and communicate how their peers’ actions made them feel.
Ahead of her performance on W.U.N.D.R’s Got Talent, Lily finds herself so overwhelmed with homework, she is worried she won’t be able to participate in the show. She asks the WUNDR team how they are able to manage both their schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Juniper offers Lily a strategy for communicating what she is struggling with to her teachers and after lots of practice, Lily finds the confidence to advocate for herself. On W.U.N.D.R’s Got Talent, Lily shares the drawings she was able to find time to work on after talking to her teacher and her tips for self-advocacy.
- Build family engagement by sending home the prewritten parent letter introducing SuperDville and offering caregivers access to the episodes and discussion guides in multiple languages!
- Select read alouds from the reading list that complement the SEL themes your students are working on.
- Utilize the anchor chart suggestions (you can either print the documents directly from the site or use them as guides to create poster size graphics for your classroom).
- Round out the year by sending home certificates of completion to help students build a sense of accomplishment.
(Episodes and Curriculum in Spanish will be available by the end of the year.)