Engaging young people in comic production is a clever way to help them work on language arts skills. A look at the four New York State English language arts standards
reveals how comics can enhance literacy instruction:
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.
Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression.
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen and speak for social interaction.
(New York State English Language Learning Standards, 2004
Each of these standards is addressed in producing comics. A comic artist must process information by sequencing the plot of a comic before writing it, as demonstrated
in students’ development of a character profile sheet and script layouts. Comic art is an expressive, interpretive art form with a long history of techniques and aesthetics; students
need to work within this tradition and interpret how the images and text work together to tell the story. In order to effectively tell a comic story, the artist must analyze and
evaluate the underlying meaning of the story. The artist must also interact socially with other readers; students often discuss their work in small groups in the comics class.
Reading skill is also addressed, as students reading various publications, explore different genres, and learn new vocabulary as background preparation for their own creations.
Students often revise their work with the help of the instructor, going through several drafts to produce the final version. This emphasis on comprehension and revision
supports both their reading and writing.
Differentiation and Children with Special Needs –
How can you use comics in the classroom to give learners choices?
How can comics help children with specials needs, such as those with language arts disabilities or communication difficulties?
How can comics help children who are English language learners?
National Technology Standards (ISTE):
- 1A-C: Creativity and Innovation
- 2A, D: Communication and Collaboration
- 3A-B, D: Research and Information Fluency
- 4A-D: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
- 5B-D: Digital Citizenship
- 6A-D: Technology Operations and Concepts