Colorful History in the Classroom

Recently, we reached out to our community to see how they were using “Colorful History” in the classroom. We received lots of responses about the many different ways that these comics are providing educational value.

Erik Burgeson, a library media specialist at Kilbourne Middle School in Worthington, OH, told us that he first started using Colorful History comics in his Graphic Novels course. “At first,” he told us “I used it as an optional read in between longer reads such as Trickster and American Born Chinese.” A few years later, Erik started using the comics frequently in the classroom with his 8th grade students, after Kilbourne Middle School began an effort to do formative and summative assessments in writing across the curriculum.

“I started with my 8th graders and found the comics and the teacher guide and questions to be extremely valuable as they were aligned with exactly what we were trying to do, increase students reading and writing about non-fiction topics. This year I began using the comics with my 7th graders as well. In fact, right now my eighth graders read one comic every Friday and answer the teacher guide questions as a practice (formative) assessment for their graded writing assignments.”

Another response we received came from the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center. Executive Assistant Tricia Ortega informed us that the publication goes beyond a school setting! She wrote to us, saying:

“Colorful History is not just for kids! I print the comics out and put them on the front counter for the Mayor’s Office. A lot of our staff does not know much about Colorado history other than what we were taught in school a few decades ago. Everyone has enjoyed the comics and they provide something for folks to do while waiting for meetings.”

Janae L., a 4th grade teacher at Bristol Elementary in Colorado Springs, described to us her student’s excitement after reading an issue on the Colorado Flag:

“I downloaded the Colorado Flag comic so students could view it on our Google Classroom site. I created a lesson target that would promote student inquiry. One student said, “I can explain the importance of the Colorado state flag and tell what aspects of Colorado are important to me.” As students read, their hands shot up as they discovered the information. They excitedly shared with me, and students ended the class remembering the information. I LOVED the student excitement and engagement because they were able to gain information from a comic and use technology to access it.”

We are thrilled to hear stories of how Colorful History comics are utilized, both in and out of the classroom!

Click the link below to check out different issues of our comic strip! We hope you find them just as useful! http://popcultureclassroom.org/education/colorful-history/

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