Review of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds

 

By Erik Kallenborn

For the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the country, speaking about the benefits of comics and graphic novels in the classroom, helping many teachers get started with the medium in their own classrooms along the way.

There are many roads that led to where the Comics Education Outreach is at this point in time, and a lot of our success comes from the partnership with Pop Culture Classroom; they saw and acknowledged our passion and were gracious enough to take us on as one of their many amazing programs. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention or give partial credit to Gareth Hinds’ version of Beowulf for our success as well.

Gareth Hinds’ amazing adaptation of the classic epic poem Beowulf has been a staple in my classroom for over five years, and my kids continue to find new aspects of the graphic novel to explore. My exploration of the relationship between reading time and assessment scoring even sparked a Chicago newspaper to cover a story about my usage of the graphic medium.

As teachers in a sea of sub-par classical adaptations, we have to find the gems. An adaptation of a long-taught classic that is engaging and relatable, Beowulf is a great translation and students dig it. The art and lack of text make this book work wonderfully in the classroom as an entryway into classic literature!

Using Beowulf In the Classroom

1.) Literary Analysis: While reading and discussing this title, students can engage in discussions on tone, mood, symbolism, pacing, plot, characterization, etc. If discussing character and author intent are your things, you need to teach this book; it has everything an English teacher needs.

2.) Art Analysis: The book is crafted in such a way that this title can also be an educator’s entryway into teaching the graphic novel medium. Along with the normal English classroom discussions going, you can layer discussions of color shift, graphic weight, panel layout, inference, etc. Add as much or as little as you like based on your conformability with comics and graphic novels. On his website, Hinds even provides sketches and a teacher’s guide as materials for classroom application.

 

3.) Engaging Different Types of Learners: Students can write about this title with as much familiarity and confidence as if they had read the classic epic poem. As someone that has used this book in an AP Literature class in which half of the students read the graphic novel, and half of the students read the adapted poem after which the graphic novel is created, I can say with certainty that, when the students write about the story, you will be hard-pressed to discover which student read which version.

 

4.) Text Pairing: If replacing the original text scares you or seems off-putting, pair them! Beowulf has the ability to be used as a paired text with the original version. Allow the images in the graphic novel to supplement the text and aid with understanding and comprehension. There are even some great essay prompts waiting to be created that will allow students to compare and contrast the text to the graphic novel, such as essays about characterization, Hinds’ edits, tone, and so on.

In Conclusion

If you are interested in learning more about the book and its classroom application, my fellow teacher Ronell Whitaker and I will be the Keynote speakers with Gareth Hinds at the closing of NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English) discussing our continued work with his books in our classrooms. It is a great honor to have been asked, and it will be an amazing opportunity to continue to speak about this fantastic book and its benefits to educators.

As you can see, there is a lot that any excited educator can do with this book. I implore you to check it out if you have not done so already. Let me know if you dig it, what you do with it, and how your kids like it. I wish you the best of luck and hope you see the success with this book in the classroom that I did!

 

Eric Kallenborn is a Chicago-based high school teacher and comic book aficionado. He can be contacted on social media @comics_teacher and over email at e.kallenborn@popcultureclassroom.org.


Denver Comic Con Education Wrap-Up (Part 2)

Educator’s Day 2017 Offers Exciting Opportunities for Teachers

Over the past four years, Educator’s Day has given over 1,000 teachers, librarians, administrators and other educators the opportunity to receive a free Friday pass to Denver Comic Con. The goal of Educator’s Day is to help these educators incorporate the power of pop culture in a classroom as a way to engage and inspire students.

In 2017, Denver Comic Con featured over 200 hours of panels and programs geared toward educators from all different backgrounds and grade levels. Panels ranged from using comic books in the classroom to LGBTQ issues to Drawing 101 workshops, and everything in between.

As Bruce MacIntosh says, the programs at DCC’17 were “well attended by both educators and students. We are encouraged to expand beyond this year’s 220 education focused panels for next year!”

By giving educators the opportunity to attend DCC and select from the wide variety of educational panels offered, they learned about new and exciting ways to connect with students inside and outside of the classroom.

Illya Kowalchuk says Denver Comic Con “from year one, has always been about supporting and empowering educators….It’s also about giving them this unique space to share these amazing ideas and resources and tools that they can then bring back to their students and schools to show just how transformative pop culture-based education can be.”

2017 Kids’ Comics Contest Winners Meet with the Pros

Our annual Kids’ Comic Contest is PCC’s way of encouraging young artists to continue in their work and be inspired to pursue a career doing what they love.

In 2017, we selected 4 talented grand-prize winners from elementary through high school. As part of their prize for their outstanding art and creativity, the winners attended Denver Comic Con on Sunday to have a special lunch with talented professional comic artists Franco and Ty Templeton.

Congratulations to the winners for their wonderful artwork, and another thank you to the amazing artists for donating their time to chat! You can see the winners’ winning comic entries here.

The 2018 Kids’ Comics Contest submissions will open later this year, so stay tuned!

First-Ever Educator of the Year Award Winners Visit DCC!

Our first-ever Pop Culture Educator of the Year Award Winners attended Denver Comic Con this year! Awarded for the exceptional work they have put into bringing pop culture into their classrooms and communities, these four educators were recognized before and during DCC’17 for their ability to innovate, engage and inspire their students.

We are pleased to recognize and honor their hard work! To learn about each of the award-winners, you can read more here.

And if you have someone you’d like to nominate, don’t worry – submissions for the 2018 Educator of the Year Awards will open later this year!

From the Bottom of Our Heart, Thank You!

Our utmost thanks to all the fans, exhibitors, artists, creators, cosplayers, educators, families and so many others who made Denver Comic Con and our educational programming a success this year!

It’s your incredible support of this event that makes these opportunities and PCC’s year-round educational programming possible. Be sure to join us for Denver Comic Con 2018 for even more fun and inspiring programming!

Denver Comic Con 2017 Education Wrap-Up! (Part 1)

At this year’s Denver Comic Con, Pop Culture Classroom celebrated diversity, fun and education through a variety of exciting and unique programming. Our guests, volunteers, students, teachers and programmers created and participated in a fantastic line up of education-focused activities and programs all throughout the weekend.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from the educational programming at this year’s Denver Comic Con. Enjoy!

The Expanded Pop Culture Classroom Kids’ Lab Blasts into 2017

This year’s Pop Culture Classroom’s Kids’ Laboratory, our all-ages area on the show floor 100% dedicated to kids and teens, returned in 2017 with more space and activities than ever before!

As Director of Programming, Bruce MacIntosh explains, “The changes to the Kids Lab this year were a smashing success, as we added even more space to make it 10,000 square feet of events, panel and activities just for kids, including two large stages for guest speakers, the all-ages stage and the 8-Bit stage.”

Among the interactive activities this year were edible water bottles, pizza gardens and hand-made paper jewelry, helping engage kids with their community and the environment.

According to PCC Kids’ Lab Manager, Becky Franks-Cassidy, “This year, the focus of the Lab shifted to provide educational experiences that would empower tends and children to make a difference and think about how they can be super heroes in their own worlds…. And as always, almost all of our activities in the Lab fell under 2 letters of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math).”

As a bonus, the 8-Bit Stage and the All-Ages Stage brought kids face-to-face with professional creators, artists and scholars throughout the weekend, including everyone from NASA scientists to celebrity voice actors, allowing youths to be inspired in a more intimate venue and learn about careers in the sciences and arts.

A big thank you to all the guests who spent time speaking to kids and encouraging the next generation of creators!

Experience the Comix Brings in Most Kids Ever – For Free!

Experience the CoMix (ETC), sponsored by Illegal Pete’s, is Pop Culture Classroom’s annual program that provides middle and high school students from local schools and community organizations the opportunity to experience a day at Denver Comic Con – and all for free! For DCC’17, we were able to offer ETC passes to more students than ever before, with over 300 students attending.

This groundbreaking program provided these students time to interact with artists, authors, and other creators, attend panels, and learn first-hand what a career in pop culture might be like.

Students are also tasked with completing a scavenger hunt during the day, fueling their curiosity and encouraging them to visit areas of DCC they might otherwise miss. As a bonus, those who completed this “hunt” were rewarded with 3-day passes to let the fun continue through the weekend!

PCC’s Education Program Manager, Adam Kullberg, says that the ETC program “provides students from all different backgrounds the chance to really learn about what makes Denver Comic Con unique, and to engage one-on-one with these amazing artists and creators from all over the world.”

“Our ultimate hope for ETC is that the students return home with this realization that they really can take their hobbies, their talents and their natural creativity and turn them into something powerful that helps change their schools and communities for the better.”

PCC Announces All-New Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Announced at a special ceremony during DCC’17, the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards will launch in 2018 and aims to celebrate the best in fiction and non-fiction graphic novels, honoring the creators, publishers and educators using graphic literature to ignite a love of learning in classrooms worldwide.

“More than four years ago, we set out to establish a new class of awards that recognizes the best in graphic novel publishing, but that also supports and encourages the increasing use of graphic novels in the educational market,” says Illya Kowalchuk, director of education for Pop Culture Classroom.

“To do that, one of our biggest goals is to create a program that ultimately benefits educators, librarians and retailers, by shining a spotlight on the use of graphic literature to inspire students at every reading level,” adds Kowalchuk. “We are honored to have some of the greatest minds in the public library and school library systems contributing as advisors and judges, along with academic educators, K-12 specialists, and industry luminaries.”

Award categories for the inaugural year are planned to include Book of the Year, Best in Educational Comics, Best New Voice, Innovator Award, Diversity Award and more!

To be continued…

American Born Chinese, Review

 

By Michael Gianfrancesco

 

REVIEW

The brainchild and signature book of author/artist Gene Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the graphic novel American Born Chinese has won its share of awards. For students and educators alike, the novel offers a wonderful story that touches on many common themes, motifs and content areas while providing students opportunities to engage in critical analysis and self-examination within your classroom.

The novel contains three stories that begin separately, intertwine throughout the book, and eventually converge at the end, bringing all the themes together into a single resolution.

The first story introduced is that of the Monkey King of Chinese legend and his quest for respect and humility.

The second is about a young boy named Jin Wang and his struggle to be accepted as one of few Asian students in a primarily white school.

And the third is a pseudo sitcom featuring Danny and his (offensive) Chinese stereotype of a cousin Chin-Kee.

Without giving too much away, American Born Chinese finds its way to a compromise for all the characters and offers surprising twists, particularly in terms of how the three stories unite into one in the last chapter. Each story has its own compelling characters, a focus on the ups and downs of culture traditions, and a need to forge a path that includes, but is not dominated by, familial heritage.

The characters learn that, while we are at least partially defined by our cultural traditions and upbringing, it just one component of who we are. Likewise, we cannot ignore our heritage, no matter how much we wish we could. The characters are forced to find a balance between their personal desires to be like everyone else and their Chinese ancestries, or, in the case of the Monkey King, his species.

The book is colorfully illustrated and draws on religious and spiritual iconography, particularly when following the Monkey King’s story. Though sometimes jarring, the transitions between each individual tale are well crafted and readers will find themselves moving quickly from one page to the next.

IN THE CLASSROOM

Educators will want to pace their students to ensure that they are spending as much time analyzing the artwork and the subtleties of what Yang is “showing” as they are on reading what he is “telling.” Some potential uses in the classroom include:

  • Talk about the themes of heritage and culture. Have your students create minicomics or short stories that explode a cultural moment in their lives. Have them share them with the class and create a sort of “international week” out of the unit.
  • The theme of identity is very strong in this novel. In particular, the book talks about changing the way you look in order to either set yourself apart or to hide within a sea of identical faces. This could be a part of a sociology unit where the class discusses what happens when you cannot hide how you look (unlike the characters in the novel who literally change their physical appearances) and must face the potential discrimination on the basis of the way you look.
  • The character of Chin-Kee is an offensive stereotype of someone of Chinese descent. This can spawn conversation about parody and the nature of exposing ignorance through the use of a stereotyped character or situation. Have them debate the appropriateness of Chin-Kee and discuss how and why this character exists in the novel and what Yang is trying to say through his presence.
  • Have students research the Chinese Gods featured in the novel or, alternately, you can assign other ancient mythological deities (Norse, Roman, Greek, Egyptian) and have students create a story or comic featuring characters derived from those sources and include how they might interact with modern humans.
  • Pair this text with YA novels like the Percy Jackson series that utilize ancient gods in a similar manner. Have students compare/contrast the authors’ choices in each work.

IN CONCLUSION

American Born Chinese is a relevant and poignant story about personal understanding that does not pull its punches when it comes to taking on racist concepts levied against those of Asian descent. The novel exposes these stereotypes and forces the reader to confront their own conscious or unconscious prejudices, while at the same time offering an empathetic view for anyone who might feel that their culture has made them a target.

Though it may seem simple in nature, Gene Yang’s expertly crafted graphic novel takes on these complicated themes masterfully and offers a thought provoking narrative which will certainly offer you and your students plenty to talk about.

 

All images (c) Gene Luen Yang.

Comics and Reluctant Learners: Dispelling the Myths

 

By Michael Gianfrancesco

 

I have been doing this whole “teaching with comics” thing for nearly 15 years and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with teachers all over the country. During panels and workshops, I find that I often hear (or overhear) a specific remark: “I love these books. They’re great for my reluctant readers.”

When I hear teachers say things like this, or that comics are only for the “kids who don’t like to read,” I feel they’re buying into a common myth: that reluctant readers are the only ones who can benefit from comics. While it’s true that comics and graphic novels do work well with reluctant readers, that’s precisely because they work well with nearly all readers. Rather than relegated to only the most struggling students, comics can be useful – even invaluable – for elementary all the way up to College Preparatory or even Advanced Placement classes, offering up countless opportunities for teachers and administrators to better engage their students.

For my part, I use comics with all my students who vary in gender, age, and academic performance – from reluctant to engaged and everything in between. Of course, curation is key here. Should you decided to take on the challenge and joy of teaching with comics in your classroom, it is important to understand what titles you have to choose from and the complexity level of these texts – particularly if you are not familiar with them – as some of them are every bit as complex as their chapter-based counterparts. For example, while I’d avoid handing a difficult book like Maus or Persepolis to a student who struggles with reading, I would also be hesitant to hand an elementary-level Smile to an 11th or 12th grade honors or college prep group.

See, that’s the rub! With the diverse range of comics available today, it’s hard to know exactly what works best for your students – especially if you’re new to comics. To help, I have taken the liberty of listing some great examples below, along with a few of the themes that the texts take on to help you decide how to work them into your curriculum:

 

Elementary/Middle School Level:

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

 
An emotional coming of age story about trust, betrayal and acceptance of fate.

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

 
A fantasy epic which explores the concepts of responsibility, reaching one’s potential, and understanding what family is really all about.

The Eternal Smile or American Born Chinese by Gene Yang

 
Three short stories which shatter the concepts of identity, reality, and the ability to be satisfied with our lives.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook  by Eleanor Davis

 
Illustrates the importance of critical thinking, teamwork and understanding of natural laws to solve practical problems.

Astronaut Academy (Series) by Dave Roman


Lots of short attention span stories that tie together into a larger narrative that explores emotion, science and self-awareness.

The Human Body Theatre by Maris Wicks


All of the systems of the human body join readers on stage in a comical and scientifically accurate exploration of anatomy.

Smile or Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

 
True stories of the author’s life which explore family, friendship, growth and the challenges of passing from one stage of life to another.

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova


Trying to connect to others and maintain some sort of identity amongst peers is the biggest challenge the characters face here.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

 
The story of a long-standing rivalry between a hero and a villain that blurs the line of what is bad and what is good.

 

High School Level:

Maus by Art Speigelman

 
The true story of a couple who survived Auschwitz told through the eyes of the son of the survivors. Pain, loss, survival and redemption are just a few of the themes explored.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

 
Satrapi’s real life experiences growing up in Iran and Europe during and after the Islamic revolution in the 80’s.

Superman: American Alien by Max Landis


Superman is an iconic character, and there are many stories that have been told about him, but none like the ones in this book. Each tale conjuring a different emotion than the last, this book offers amazing new perspectives of the Man of Steel.

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller


Batman’s initial successes and failures as a costumed hero are fraught with pain, persistence and an unquenched desire for justice.

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly

 
The role of an outsider is never an easy one. This story takes the concept of the other and multiplies it exponentially.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes


Identity and the path to the future are not always evident.

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan


War harms everyone, even the animals in a zoo hit during a bombing run.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

 
Dystopia, anarchy, revolution and the danger of unchecked authority.

The texts above are just a start. If you decide to start with your struggling readers by passing some comics into their hands, just keep in mind that this is where you should be beginning, not ending, your intervention. When you are comfortable with their effectiveness and your ability to implement them successfully, you can take the next step and bring these texts to your other, higher achieving students!

It may take some time but, in my experience, it usually does not take long to discover those books that will make your reading-loving students eager to explore and be challenged by new types of texts, topics, and content.

Review of Sisters

 

By Ronell Whitaker
Written & Art by Raina Telgemeier
Appropriate for grades: 2nd grade and up

 

Review

When I first read Raina Telgemeier’s 2010 graphic novel Smile, I had trouble relating. As a high school teacher, I couldn’t shake the fact that I was not the intended audience. “This is kids’ stuff,” I remember thinking to myself. And even though I read and liked the book, I still couldn’t shake the fact that maybe Telgemeier’s books just weren’t for me.

Until, that is, she wrote Sisters.

The second of Telgemeier’s graphic novel memoirs, Sisters – a New York Times bestseller and Eisner Award Winner – is a poignant and expertly told story about Telgemeier’s wish to be, and eventual regret at becoming, a big sister. Set during a weeklong drive from San Francisco to a family reunion Colorado Springs, Sisters invites readers into the humorous and often cringe-worthy intricacies of her family life and the bonds that form, break and then reform between them as a result.

As we travel with Telgemeier’s family, what really makes the book sing are the little familial moments to which any reader can relate: the annoyance of road tripping with a sibling; that one cool older family member you look up to; arguing over what fast food restaurant to eat at; even worrying about your parents’ marriage.

But perhaps what most helps this book go above and beyond the typical graphic memoir tropes is how fun, honest and full of heart it is. The writing is both accessible and engaging, which is important given the target demographic for this book of elementary and early middle schoolers.

In addition, Telgemeier’s art is clean and completely in service to the story. Think of it as a director who really wants the viewer to experience the story more than relying on visual flash to carry the film; that’s what she’s doing with this book. Both of these combined allow the reader to join this family on a journey that is simultaneously touching and hilarious.

Clearly, Sisters is a great comic for kids who don’t think they like comics, or don’t think comics are for them. Yet, what Sisters does well is tell a relatable story, and gives first time comics readers an easy entrance into the comics world.

In the Classroom

Creative Writing: Sisters would fit well with a memoir unit or as a mentor text for teaching students how to write their own memoirs. Using Telgemeier’s text as a guideline, students could tell their own stories about their family or experiences they’ve had on family trips.

Literary Analysis: There are also opportunities to discuss literary devices like flashback, foreshadowing, and the frame story. Students could analyze how the creator uses these devices to tell her story, and what effect it has on the narrative.

Thematic Connections: Although this is a book for younger kids, this might be a great place to start if you want to teach older students concepts like theme. Telgemeier’s books wear their themes on their sleeves, and this leads to a quick and easy way for kids to identify and analyze those themes in what they might consider a lower stakes text.

Conclusion

Never has the term “all ages” been more appropriate than with Sisters. Despite my early apprehension, the book is positively brimming with genuine laughs along with a good dose serious, poignant moments. My advice: Give this book a chance, you won’t regret it.

Still not sure? You can read the first seven pages of Sisters here and see for yourself!

Congratulations to the 2017 Con4aCause Sweepstakes Winners!

Because of your support of Denver Comic Con, we at Pop Culture Classroom are able to impact, inspire and educate children through our year-round educational programs and events. To thank you, our 2017 #Con4aCause sweepstakes gave those who entered a chance to WIN TWO ,THREE-DAY PASSES TO DCC FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS!

We were honored to receive thousands of entries across the Con4aCause website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but alas we could only pick three lucky winners. Please watch Illya’s latest video below, congratulating the Grand Prize winners and giving a HUGE thank you to everyone who submitted entries this year – you are all superheroes!

We plan to be back with a new sweepstakes in 2018, so please keep a close eye on the Denver Comic Con and Pop Culture Classroom social channels as we approach next year’s con! 


THE 2017 CON4ACAUSE GRAND PRIZE WINNERS

Hannah G. (Instagram)

Con4aCause Winner - Hannah G.

Toby H. (Facebook)

Con4aCause Winners - Tony H

Annaliese R. (Twitter)

Con4aCause Winnner - Annaliese R.

 

 


Up, Up and Away: Innovative Comics Leap Across Content Areas

At Pop Culture Classroom, one of our primary missions is to show that comics and graphic novels are more than superheroes in tights and capes. We believe comics transcend their typical associations as “lowbrow” or “simplistic” texts, offering educators new and unexpected ways to engage students in difficult subjects and content areas.

Whether you’re looking to supplement a math, science, English, social studies or civics lesson, the comic books and graphic novels listed below are perfect ways to liven up your classroom and capture the attention of struggling or disengaged students.

 

Math-Based Comics

Imagine learning math with the help of comics – how much more fun would that be? As Gene Yang has found, transferring his math lesson plans into comic form made them easier to understand.

Yang’s book Secret Coders combines adventure and mystery with the complicated world of computer coding, making these concepts easy and fun to learn for students. Students are able to slow down and reread parts they need help with and enjoy having pictures to accompany the explanations of concepts.

Likewise, Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis looks at the logical foundations of mathematics, inspiring a love for the subject that extends past the pure arithmetic side of the subject. Other math related comics include Manga Math Mysteries by math teacher Melinda Thielbar and Math by Simon Basher.

 

Science-Based Comics

Science classrooms can similarly benefit from comics being brought into the classroom. Studies show that “comic book stories lose nothing to traditional textbooks while having the added potential benefit of improving attitudes” about science. For example, the graphic novel Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler combines a suspenseful adventure with principles of scientific inquiry and lots of cool bug facts.

Likewise, Trinity, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is a historical graphic narrative of the creation of the first atomic bomb. Scientific concepts like nuclear fission are explained while contextualizing them in history, making the learning relevant for students.

Finally, T-minus: The Race to the Moon by Jim Ottaviani describes the race and the people that made it happen. The Max Axiom, Super Scientist series has many titles from various authors about everything from sound to magnetism to photosynthesis. And Charles Darwin’s on the Origin of the Species: a Graphic Adaption by Michael Keller makes the stuffy old text fun and colorful.

 

Literature-Based Comics

Introducing students to the traditional literary cannon isn’t easy either. How many of us in school struggled through novels like those of Jane Austen or Shakespeare’s plays? It’s way more fun to read about Austen’s England if there are visual representations of the time period alongside the narratives.

Nancy Butler’s adaption of Pride and Prejudice is true to the original text while including pictures to motivate reading and explain intricacies. No Fear Shakespeare also has a graphic novel collection of Shakespeare’s works, adapted to make the language understandable and includes illustrations to help explain the oblique plot points of his plays.

As an added perk, comic books frequently use a higher than average vocabulary. As one study found, comic books average 53.5 rare words per thousand, while children’s books average 30.9 and adult books average 52.7. This means, alongside increased engagement with a character and plot, students can often enhance vocabulary and language skills from comic book versions of their favorite tales.

 

Civics-Based Comics

Learning about social justice issues is made fun when there is an engaging story line combined with pictures to break down complicated concepts. Congressman John Lewis has spoken about how a comic book inspired him to learn more about the early days of civil rights and from there engage in activism himself. He has teamed up with Andrew Aydin to create his own comic book series March, inspiring the next generation of social activists.

Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi depicting her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. She confronts Iran’s political past and cultural identity with simple drawings and concise text.

Additionally, the graphic novel Tomboy by Liz Prince confronts gender role construction and the implication of what it means to be a girl in a way that is pictorialized to reflect gender expressions. Other graphic novels that touch on complex social issues include The Silence of our Friends, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, and Hiroshima: The Autobiography of Barefoot Jen.

 

In Conclusion

In each of these subjects, comics prove to be engaging and valuable for use in the classroom. Math is made more fun and easier to understand. Scientific processes are tied to narratives for engagement. Comic books can increase vocabulary and encourage familiarity with the literary cannon. And social justice issues are easily introduced within the comic medium.

Comics aren’t just about superheroes. For educators, comics can transcend these low-brow associations and become useful, even invaluable, tools that spice up your classroom, increase student engagement, and help struggling students better connect to difficult topics and subjects.

#Con4aCause - Denver Comic Con 2017

Introducing #Con4aCause – Thank You For Being Awesome

Surprise! You’re a Superhero!

Thanks to your support of Denver Comic Con, we are able to impact, inspire and educate children through our year-round educational programs and events. To thank you, we’re offering you a chance to WIN FREE DCC PASSES FOR FIVE YEARS!

Watch the video below to learn all about it, then visit www.con4acause.com and enter to win! And remember, you’re also entered each time you include #Con4aCause in a social post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


Educational Panels List - Denver Comic Con 2017

Full Lineup of Education Panels at DCC’17 Available!

Denver Comic Con 2017 is just around the corner! This year we have over 250 hours of education-based panels focusing on everything from teaching with cosplay to using board games in your classroom to engaging students with independent films, and so much more! These panels are all part of our overall nonprofit educational mission: to use pop culture to educate, inspire and engage students and teachers everywhere! 

To help you keep track of these exciting opportunities, we have compiled a full list of these education panels at the Con at the link below. 

www.popcultureclassroom.org/dcc/education

But wait, there’s more! At this link, and to further help you plan your DCC weekend, we have also created a list of interest tracks, which divide the education panels into seven categories:

  • Art, Diversity/Gender Issues
  • Film/Television
  • Gaming/Technology, Science
  • Teaching/Pedagogy
  • Writing/Literature

We have also included a Panel Tracking sheet, which is designed to help you easily keep track of all the educational panels you attended in a simple, organized way.

For easy access to these panels leading up to and during the event, we also encourage you to download the all-new Pop Culture Classroom app. You can use this to create a schedule of panels to attend and receive advance reminders about events and activities, as well as stay updated on any scheduling changes that may occur, as all panel times and locations are subject to change.

Finally, we offer ALL educators the chance to receive a certificate for panel hours attended at DCC. All you need to do is send a scanned version of your completed Panel Tracking Sheet into education@popcultureclassroom.org by July 7th, 2017. We will send you a certificate that you can provide to your schools and/or program for recertification/professional development hours.

Our unique approach to supporting educators and innovating education is part of what makes Denver Comic Con special each year. We can’t wait to celebrate another stellar year with you, and we hope these panels