The Davie County friends of the library group is always interested in finding new ways that we can help with encouraging and enabling literacy through our library. I found this great article in the Tech4Learning Literacy Kit for secondary students (free) and just thought it was really interesting how some creative teachers are using middle school and teen students’ natural love for comics, as a learning tool.
In fact, some educators are suggesting that graphic novels and comics should be used more often to get kids interested in reading, and learning. Not only that, but many teachers are using them successfully in the classroom.
Melinda Kolk has a recent article, reprinted by Tech4Learning, which suggests that students are learning a great deal more than we might think they are, through the characteristics and composition of comics. She stated:
Students can learn a lot about effective communication as they study the characteristics of successful comic books and graphic novels. Telling stories in a limited space requires comic authors to carefully consider composition, viewpoint, and character expression. How these elements are combined into text and illustrations will determine how the reader interprets the story.~ Melinda Kolk
And R.J. Marzano (Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.) addressed some ideas for implementing comics into language arts programs;
Brain-based teaching tells us that students learn by doing. Having them create their own comics as a form of expression and communication will provide additional opportunities for learning.
One way the F.O.L. group is supporting this type of “project based learning” is through helping with the purchase of Davie County Library’s ReadyAnimator. Students can create and animate their own comics with this equipment.
The library had a “Teen Tech” night this year to give kids a chance to try this out, and it is available for use on a regular basis at the Mocksville branch. What a great way to do a report or illustrate their own stories! This is creative, and educational technology.
We would love to see some Davie County parents, teachers and tutors sending students in to “check out” the ReadyAnimator, as a way to reinforce the things they are teaching in our classrooms.
Get in touch with the library at 336-753-6030, if you think this is something that your kids would be interested in trying out.