Using Comic Books to Teach

I really enjoyed looking back at this interview with Chris Wilson over at Open Education about the use of comic books to teach.

To me, the important point to remember that just about anything can be used to teach, however, when you use something that kids like, you have an edge and it is magnetic. (Cool tools, technology, excited teachers)

We should not be opposed to the use of just about any tool… we should be opposed to bad teaching. Teachers who don't want to be there, don't have their heart in it, and don't take the time to plan and make their classrooms a center for learning excellence.

The most important quotation to pass along (please read the whole article) is:

This is a much larger subject than one may realize. For my part, when I use the term “comic,” I am referring to the generalized genre of comic literature. That is literature that uses both text and art in a sequential manner. For more on this, I suggest you read

by Scott McCloud. It is required reading for anyone who cares at all about comics, especially teachers who want to use comics. It will help people understand the history of comics and why it is indeed an art. To understand what happens between the panels of a comic page is to understand why comics is indeed literature.”

I love using comics and adore toondoo.

tag: , , , , , , , ,

Never miss an episode

Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

All Posts »

6 comments

Karyn Romeis June 5, 2008 - 1:02 pm

Let me tell you an enormously overlooked comic genre teaching tool: Asterix the Gaul. Think of all the following options:

* Learning about puns from the dialogue
* Exploring the wit in the use of the names
* Exploring tools for humour
* Exploring story-line construction
* Translating the Latin (one pirate only speaks Latin)
* Researching to see whether the history is accurate and where the story line diverges from reality (my husband only half-jokingly calls Asterix “the definitive history of all peoples”)
* Art techniques used

And I drew up that list without even stopping to ponder – imagine what else could be achieved if a person put their minds to it!

Jenny Clark June 5, 2008 - 3:55 pm

I love this idea! I used to try and clip comics that went along with what we were working on, but it ended up being a hassle. I hadn’t really thought about how easy it would be to find, make, and/or save them for use now that we’re in the digital age! I’ve also thought that using jokes/joke books would be a useful tool. The brevity of comics and jokes forces them to leave a lot of assumed information out. This makes them a very natural check for understanding. If kids don’t get the basics, they won’t get the comic/joke.

loonyhiker June 6, 2008 - 10:24 am

Thanks for the link to toondoo. I love using comics in my special ed classroom especially to teach classics. The students can learn and enjoy the visuals.

koestner June 6, 2008 - 5:31 pm

I completely agree with your ideas about using anything that interest students as a learning tool. If students are interested in reading comic books, than why not use them as a teaching tool? Comic books are a genre that can expose students to a lot of exciting elements. As an educator, I also agree with the statement about using other tools “that kids like” while teaching. I think that teachers should continually try and find new materials that spark students’ interests. This is important to keep them engaged in their learning. Students will learn and remember more when lessons appeal to their interests. I am currently taking a technology class to learn new and exciting ways to tie technology into the classroom. I am hoping this new knowledge will excite my young learners.

koestner June 6, 2008 - 5:32 pm

I completely agree with your ideas about using anything that interest students as a learning tool. If students are interested in reading comic books, than why not use them as a teaching tool? Comic books are a genre that can expose students to a lot of exciting elements. As an educator, I also agree with the statement about using other tools “that kids like” while teaching. I think that teachers should continually try and find new materials that spark students’ interests. This is important to keep them engaged in their learning. Students will learn and remember more when lessons appeal to their interests. I am currently taking a technology class to learn new and exciting ways to tie technology into the classroom. I am hoping this new knowledge will excite my young learners.

Ben A. June 16, 2008 - 11:17 pm

I couldn’t agree more about the value of comics in education. I’m a big fan of comics and use them in my class every chance I get. I’ve found some great ebooks at http://www.dedicatedteacher.com that have helped me creatively integrate comics into my lessons, not only as products in themselves, but as teaching tools.

Comments are closed.

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere