Comic book strips are a fun way of delivering information about any number of situations. Moving away from the realms of fantasy and into reality, using pictures, gestures, and phrases, it's possible to create or communicate very simple or very complicated ideas and concepts in individual stages.
In the process of creating a comic strip, for a student, they will learn in detail the stages they may already know but as they work they will be required to consider the steps and think about how to best communicate them. For a teacher, comic strips can be an engaging tool that provides insight on a subject in a way that entertains and encourages discussion. Because of the representations and symbols used in comic strips, these can become talking points and debate issues.
There are several ways that comic strips can be implemented in a classroom, here's a few ideas:
History: Often in history lessons, events are taught in linear progression and key times include some form of dramatic encounter. This makes a perfect setting for comic strip writing as timelines and historical stories are ideal for this form of media.
Science: When we set up experiments, the method has to be explained in order for the tests to be repeatable. Using a comic strip to show exactly what was done is a great way of using art skills as well as fine tuning the education on how to go about scientific procedure.
Biography: This can be a fun way of researching people's lives and identifying key times in their career or progress in life, and by drawing on many sources, a pictorial comic book of a person's life would be an easy way of learning about important figures. Students could even do an auto-biography.
Book Review: To demonstrate understanding of books read in their spare time or in class time, students could draw comics of what happens in the plot, and by showing main characters and how they interact, it's a good way of making the story something to think about not just read and enjoy.
Politeness: Students could be asked to draw representations of good manners and proper etiquette in conversation. By making it fun and expressive, getting the point across to treat each other with respect can be an activity in itself to really help it set in.
Report on Events: A sports match could be a subject, or even a debate on the television about something relevant to class. Analysing an event in detail and depicting the stages in a comic book can help students to appreciate the dynamics of the event in a more defined way.
Create Action Plans: Getting our plan in order to achieve the results we need is key to any venture. Students about to embark on projects could be encouraged to draw comic book strips of their plan and show themselves doing the things required in order to see it through.
There will be many more things comic books can be used to help teach with. If literacy and art wasn't enough, and you didn't know already, their usefulness has just increaced by several orders of magnitude.
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