Making Curriculum Pop

Hello everyone,

I am a long time reader, first time poster.

A few of my fellow educators recommended that I post my Spider-man:Maximum Carnage Language unit.

A little but about me first. I have been trying to start a comics in the classroom movement with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, but it has been a slow fire to start with my peers though it has really caught on with the students I have introduced this program to.

I was inspired by Darla Strouse, who runs a similar program in Maryland.

I have adapted the spider-man comic book "Maximum Carnage" into an edited radio play with follow up questions written by me.

Instead of buying the comic in bulk which can get rather costly, I decided to type out the comic into a radio play script form, where each student takes on the roles of Spider-man, Jonah Jameson and the rest of the gang. Doing this read through allows the students to become that character and change their voice accordingly.  This is especially helpful for students around speech time. It will allow them to be more comfortable speaking in front of a small group.

Here is a brief synopsis of the story:

“The spawn of Venom has assembled an army of Spider-man’s criminally insane adversaries to spread his message of hostility, chaos and wholesale slaughter: Carrion, Demogoblin, Shriek and the Spider-man Doppelganger!

Outmanned and overpowered, the wall-crawler must recruit his own band of super-beings to combat the rising tide of evil: Black Cat, Cloak & Dagger, Firestar, Captain America, Deathlok and Venom?! Spider-man’s worst enemy becomes his uneasy ally in the battle to halt Carnage’s mad rampage.

But when he finds himself at odds with a number of his allies, who want to finish Carnage and his cronies once and for all, Spider-man must decide whether to violate his personal code of honour to rid the world of pure evil. Can the web-slinger find an alternative before it’s too late? Either choice carries dire consequences!”

Very good guys:

Spider-man, Black Cat, Cloak and Dagger, Captain America, Deathlok, Iron Fist, Aunt May


The Grey Guys(Who walk between both worlds):

Morbius, Venom, Nightwatch 

 Very bad guys:

Carnage, Carrion, Demogoblin, Shriek, Demogoblin


Talk about which characters lost their cool/attitude, why they suddenly changed their attitude and what was the context of that change:

-Iron Fist after his calm meditation almost worked on the crowd.

-Cloak during certain battles.

-Spider-man getting beaten by the mob for the first time while trying to reason with them (“You want to act like animals, then I’ll treat you like animals”).

-When Venom asks Spider-man if Carnage is worthy of vengeance(to be killed) or protection(placed in prison).

Where would Richard Parker and J. Jonah Jameson fit in with the above categories?

Real life connection:

-In real life, Spider-man would oppose capital punishment while Venom would advocate the use of capital punishment on criminals who deserved such a punishment. Venom comes from the mind-set that the crime should fit the punishment (an eye for an eye, if you kill someone, we will kill you back). Replace Carnage/Kasady with one of today’s dictators. What would your stance be on the issue of capital punishment? Would you take a Spider-man or Venom side to the issue? What side does your family take? Would you agree that dangerous criminals should be executed by the authorities? What if you saw an infamous criminal on the street? Would you, yourself commit the act?

-Have you ever teamed up or played with someone who you didn’t get along with before? Did they change? Did you become good friends?

If anyone is interested in this unit and would like my unit emailed along with the script and more questions for each chapter, please email at  and I would be glad to send the package to you. I have broken up the story into 14 chapters that range from 14-18 pages.


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Hi Peter, unfortunately your post won't get a lot of notice here - we don't use these discussion boards much here.  Most (if not all) of the action at this point takes place in the group discussion forums.  So this is something you would want to post in the graphic novels group discussion forum.  That way 1. it is archived in a place people can find it, 2, everyone in that group gets an e-mail that you posted and 3. I can then share it in the week in review.  So this looks like great stuff - you can just copy and paste this there and you'll get a lot more discussion.  BTW - if you want to avoid funny formatting (spacing is strange) switch from the "visual" to the "html" tab in the discussion - that makes the copy and paste smoother.


Thanks for getting in the mix and sharing!






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