What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Photo by Kellie Szkatulski
Workshop Title: TV
Say, “What was your favorite TV show growing up? Why? What made it so special? Do they make shows like that now?” Then give your students time to discuss.
Read the poem “What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. When you’re done reading, briefly discuss the lessons she learned from watching that show as a child.
Say, “Choose a show from your childhood that you look back upon fondly. Try to write down as many reasons as you can that convey why that particular show was so special to you as a child. More specifically, though, discuss what lessons – if any – you learned from the show.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.
Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil in which they discuss a television show from their childhood and the lessons it taught them about life.
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Various
This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one.
Start by showing your students the following video, a short clip from The Incredible Hulk TV show that premiered in 1978. When you are done, ask your students what you think life would be like living as David Banner/The Hulk. Have them try to support their responses with specifics from the clip.
Watch the following performance of “What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. As your students are watching, have them pay particular attention to how she views the life of the Hulk and what she learned from the show.
Then read “Hulk Smash” by Greg Santos. Ask your students to pay particular attention to the similarities in message or sentiment between the two Hulk pieces.
Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to compare the similarities between the two poems and analyze what they both reveal about the human condition. Then give your students time to work.
Have your students share their responses with one another when they are done.
- Children / Youth
- Community / Culture
- Creativity / Imagination / Writing
- Environment / Environmental Justice
- Health / Health Care / Illness
- Figurative Language
- Selection of Detail