I am a huge fan of Time for Kids. Most students look forward to reading it and the articles serve as wonderful discussion starters. This week’s issue focuses on Comics in the Classroom. Graphic novels and comics are becoming increasingly popular in elementary classrooms and it made me smile when I read the following article! 🙂 Yay for comics and graphic novels!
Picture this: You are sitting in class and pow! your teacher turns into Superman. Thwak! Garfield is chasing Mickey Mouse around your desk. What are comic book characters doing in class?
In some places, they are part of the lesson. Schools around the country are using comic books as a way to teach reading, writing and other subjects.
Critics say comics are too simple for school. But many teachers give comics a good grade for getting their students to read.
A Colorful New Way to Learn
Third-grade teachers in Maryland are using classic Disney comics. The department of education created lesson plans for the comics.
Maryland tested the program in eight classrooms. “The teachers love it. It captures students’ interest,” says Nancy Grasmick, superintendent of Maryland schools. She adds that they believe the comics have helped improve reading skills.
Another program, the Comic Book Project, is being used in 850 schools in the U.S. Students write and draw their own comics. The project was started by Michael Bitz, of Teachers College at Columbia University, in New York City. Bitz wanted to give kids the chance to “write their own stories and create their own characters,” he told TFK, “while improving their reading and writing skills.”
Katie Van Els, 11, from Hawaii, says the project has made her a better writer. “You need to use the right words and punctuation.”
Teachers also give the program high marks. Bitz has heard stories of children who didn’t like to read. “Suddenly, they’re the star writers in their class,” he says.