Beyond the Burning Lands: John Christopher
The NYPL Central Children's Room

Encouraging Reading through Comic Books

Ghost CirclesIn response to my recent post about tips for encouraging young readers, Thomas Hanson of sent me links to three recent posts about using comic books as a tool for teaching reading:

  • Innovative Teaching - Comic Books in the Classroom: This post, the first published of the three, references the recent NY Times article on this topic. The specific attributes of comics that make it easier for kids to learn reading and writing are discussed, with the general idea being that "if they help young readers become more fluent readers" then they are worth a look. The article concludes with a discussion of the difference between comic books and graphic novels.
  • Innovative Teaching - Chris Wilson Discusses the Comic Book Movement: In this post, interviews Chris Wilson, author and editor of the site “The Graphic Classroom”. This post had me at the following opening statements: "Mr. Wilson ... feels that comics do a great deal more than help keep students invested in learning. In fact, Wilson’s number one goal is to develop of a love for reading in all his students - for him, the comic genre is one method to develop that love." I like Chris Wilson already! The interview is detailed and well-researched, and well worth your time.
  • The Twelve Best Comic Books for the Classroom: This post provides a list of five titles for elementary school readers and seven for middle school and high school readers. The list includes titles specifically selected to increase "administrative buy-in" at the schools, mainly traditional tales set to graphic format (which "set the stage for reading the real text later in school") and stories that "truly teach students about the world around them." The list includes the "Bone" series, by Jeff Smith, which was mentioned in my recent article.

I've bookmarked - I think that Tom Hanson is someone worth listening to. I hope that you enjoy the above articles.