Sometimes teachers are faced with those special students who just do not seem interested in any of the typical approaches that tend to make learning more interesting. Teachers of these kinds of students have to go above and beyond to creatively draw in reluctant scholars. One approach to which many students are drawn is to use comics to make the learning a little more interesting. Here are a few ideas to kick off the learning across the entire curriculum.
Science Comic Books
With the help of “make your own comic book pages and worksheets,” kids can draw and write their own comic stories. When you’re studying science, why not have one of the topics be the inspiration for an “evil genius?” Acid rain, global warming, bad bacteria, and other science topics can be villainous while things like recycling, reducing carbon emissions, and antibiotics can inspire a team of superheroes.
Comic books are a fantastic way for kids to express themselves creatively. Walk the kids through the process of planning a comic book adventure. Planning is important because the children’s stories will need to have a beginning, which introduces the heroes and the villain; a middle part of the story where a problem or challenge is presented; and an ending that resolves all the conflict and, of course, punishes the bad guy. Show the kids how to break the story into small bits, which can be illustrated. The action should be indicated by dialog and drawings. Comic book creation is an excellent way for kids to develop strong dialog for traditional story-writing, because long descriptive writing doesn’t work well in a comic book format.
Comic books can test the comprehension of students and determine whether or not they did their assigned reading from the night before. Hand the kids a comic sheet and tell them to illustrate what they read. Another way to include literature in comic book format is to eliminate the traditional book report and allow the kids to draw comics of their chosen books.
Even the most reluctant reader will be drawn in by comics. Sometimes reading is just hard for kids. They won’t get better at it until they practice, and many kids don’t practice because it’s hard. It’s a loop that won’t improve unless teachers take unconventional approaches to reading instruction.
If you’re trying to encourage a reluctant reader, have available a wide selection of comics. Don’t only choose superhero comic books. Classic newspaper comics like Garfield, Foxtrot, Zits, and Calvin and Hobbes can encourage kids to keep reading. Also, you can find many classic books in comic book format. Even some of Shakespeare’s plays are available this way.
While comics hold special allure for reluctant learners, they’re also appealing to all students. Comics can make your classroom more interesting and hold everyone’s attention.