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A Universe of Ideas to Engage Students in Your MindTap Course


If you’re looking for a fun way to engage students and pep up class discussion, consider leveraging the momentous popularity of Avengers: Endgame.


We reached out to our Cengage Faculty Partners for ideas to work this blockbuster hit into different course areas. As you peruse their suggestions:


  1. Recall that MindTap empowers you to insert videos, web links and other content to support these unique lessons. Get started by selecting +Add/Create at the top of your course and review these quick training videos for guidance.add create activity button.png
  2. Note that we’ve recommended a Cengage title for each topic. Students with a Cengage Unlimited subscription can access any Cengage title from any discipline through the Cengage Unlimited dashboard to learn more about these ideas.


Art Historyst teresa of avila.jpg

A Dominican priest noticed that Thanos' gauntlet looks a lot like the hand of Saint Teresa of Avila. In MindTap, add an activity to link to his Twitter post and ignite discussion with your students.


Students can learn all about Saint Teresa in Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History. Through Cengage Unlimited, students can enter ISBN 9781305677388 to add Gardner's ebook to their Cengage Unlimited account.



How many Avengers have been thrown into space? Hulk, Gamora, Quill, Dr. Strange and maybe Captain Marvel have all been exposed to space. So, what would happen to you? You wouldn't blow up (though you'd probably expand) and you wouldn’t instantly freeze. Should you hold your breath in order to live longer?


Students can find answers in this article from Harvard University. To embed in your course, create a WebLink activity in MindTap.


Additionally, students can learn more about space exposure and more in Human Biology by Starr and McMillan. In their Cengage Unlimited dashboard, search using ISBN 9780357164556.


Literaturecaptain america.jpg

Each Avenger is a unique character. To do a character analysis, students will find excellent guidance in Kirszner & Mandell Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Chapter 8 is devoted to exploring character and even contains a checklist that students can use to analyze the motivations and personalities of the Avenger superheroes.


Students using Cengage Unlimited can find this title under ISBN 9781337677325. 


Thanks to Professor Sherri Singer for this suggestion.



Math statistical probability.png

Ever wonder the statistical probability for each Avenger surviving Thanos' snap? Check out this article, then learn more about probability in chapter 6 of Statistics Companion: Support for Introductory Statistics by Peck, Olsen and Short.


Cengage Unlimited subscribers can find this title under ISBN 9781337794305. Thanks to Jennifer Fink for this idea!



The theme from the Avengers is rousing and gets the audience excited. 


Here’s a clip from the Avengers theme:


Notice how it's similar to the theme from the Superman movie from 1978: 


In fact, compare this brief clip from the very end of the Avengers theme: 


to this brief clip from the very end of the Superman theme:


Notice the similarity of the Avengers theme to the Superman theme. Similar? A little too similar perhaps? Is this musical plagiarism? Here's an idea for using music to teach students about plagiarism from professor Audrey Wick, one of our Faculty Partners.


With MindTap, you have the ability to bring examples of plagiarism directly into your course by linking to an article or inserting a YouTube video.


Additionally, students can explore how music affects our emotions in chapter 30 (Music for Media, Film, TV and Games) of Wright’s Listening to Music ebook. Cengage Unlimited subscribers can enter 9780357164341 in Cengage Unlimited.



There is a lot of talk about time travel in Endgame. The term “quantum realm” is used several times by different heroes. If students want to separate fact from fiction regarding topics like quantum mechanics and time dilation, they’d find clear explanations in chapter 10 (Atomic Physics) of Inquiry Into Physics by Ostdiek and Bord (9780357108840).



In Psychology, Avengers: Endgame offers a few themes to explore with students.


Survivor Guilt - At the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos kills half the human population. Many key characters of the Marvel Universe disappear in apparently random fashion. What we see in Avengers: Endgame is how the remaining characters each, in different ways, deal with grief. Students can learn a great deal about how people deal with trauma and loss in chapter 9 of Death & Dying, Life & Living by Corr & Corr (Coping with Loss and Grief). Use ISBN 9780357165799 to find this title in Cengage Unlimited.


Thanks to Professor Sherri Singer for this suggestion.


Gender Roles - You might have noticed in the movie that Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) tries to coordinate others to help Earth survive, as she has always tried to keep the Avengers together. Iron Man and Quill, on the other hand, are obsessed with anger and not adept at expressing their emotions.  Are gender roles at work here?


Learn more about Gender roles in Janell Carroll's text, Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity (9780357163993).


hulk.jpgArchetypes - According to psychologist Carl Jung, we all have lots of archetypes in our collective unconscious. The Hulk, for example is the Shadow. As author Jerry M. Burger says in chapter 5 of his text on Personality, “...the shadow contains the unconscious part of ourselves that is essentially negative...the dark side of our personalities."


Students can learn more about Jung's concept of archetypes by adding Personality by Jerry M. Burger (9780357164662) to their Cengage Unlimited homepage.



It has been fascinating to watch how Avengers: Endgame has caught the attention of so many people around the world. Is this due in part to the influence of mass media? Marvel was actively promoting the Avengers on every possible social media channel, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, in an attempt to create FOMO (fear of missing out).


Students can learn more about the influence of mass media in chapter 3 of Kendall’s Sociology in Our Times. Use ISBN 9781337333689 in the search field.


What Else?

How have you used Avengers: Endgame, or other films, in your MindTap course?


How do your students respond when you incorporate recent pop culture into lessons?


Share your thoughts and ideas with fellow educators in the comments section below.


The ideas in this article originally appeared in this post in the Cengage Unlimited portal.