Comics in the Classroom

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This site suggests using comics in the classroom for a variety of purposes. A great graphic (on slide 4) shows that comics can be used to develop several literacy skills including: character development, problem solving, organization, creativity, storytelling, setting, sequencing, decision making, and creativity. If the comic building is done with one of the many online programs or websites available, computer skills are also being developed. After this graphic, links to several comic creators are provided before the best part of the presentation: “21 Ways to Use Comics in the Classroom.”
Several of these suggestions sound like things that kids would love to do. A few of my favorites include:
#1. Instruction Manual: the kids could create their own instruction manuals (which is nonfiction writing with a focus on sequencing!) or the teacher could use the comic as an instruction manual for the student’s task.
#3. Research Assignment: This could definitely tie into nonfiction with both reading and writing. If students need to do research (nonfiction reading) to create a comic, the end product may be worth the less exciting task at hand. (Note: this is not to say that reading nonfiction is not exciting, but many students think that it is, so this could help!)
#5. Convert a Story: There is a large movement in the world of graphic novels right now, and this could be a great opportunity to help students make the connection between novels and comics.
#6. Write a Story: Whether used as the final product or in the planning stages, using comics to write a story could be a fun option for more creative students. It would also be an opportunity to talk about ways that the image can actually tell more of a story than the words.
#14. Using Terminology: The slide show suggests providing students with five words that have to be used in their comics as a way to encourage the students to understand new terminology.


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