Archive for Comics – Page 2

Workshop Spotlight: Whittier Elementary

Pop Culture Classroom is dedicated to offering students in classrooms all across the Front Range dynamic workshops exploring educational topics through the lens of pop culture. The latest of these was an exciting 8-week comic-creation course at Whittier Elementary. Using Storytelling Through Comics, an arts and literacy curriculum created by PCC, students had the unique opportunity to create their own comics.

The process of creating comics empowers students in their education, making learning and creating fun and relevant to what kids are already interested in. Starting in January, six students began learning about comics from PCC educators Marisa Pushee and Shawn Bowman during an after-school program.

At the end of the creation process, these students had each created a 6 panel comic from scratch. Their comics focused on a problem in the world and overcoming it through their superheroes.

According to Pushee, four students in the class “were good friends who regularly made comics together. Already dedicated comic book fans, they were excited to learn more about developing their layouts and improving their drawing techniques. At the end of the class, they decided to each make their own final comic, but found ways to include crossover characters and influence each other’s work.”

The students artistic and storytelling skills grew over the course of the class resulting in a fun and rewarding experience for both students and educators.

For more information on Storytelling Through Comics, visit here.

 

Spotlight: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Whittier PCC workshop participant Kate hard at work on the final draft of her comic.

Workshop: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Students Jun and Rivers creating cross-over comics together.

Workshop: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Mira, age 10, working hard on her original comic “Changes.”

Workshop: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Enrico and his comic “Waterfall” about a bird named Kirby who drinks from the fountain of youth.

Workshop: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Rhys having a fun learning to draw her first-ever comic.

Workshop: Whittier Elementary - Pop Culture Classroom

Hyunmin, 8, diligently drafting his comic, “Bird’s Revenge.”


 

Littles Need Comics, Too: Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

By Ronell Whitaker

“Are there any comics or graphic novels out there for the primary grades?”

This is a question I get all the time from fellow teachers. It seems simple, but for years I found myself struggling to find a good answer. While I’ve always had great suggestions of comic and graphic novel titles for high schoolers and the middle grades, I had never gotten around to finding out what options there actually were for the K to 2nd grade crowd.

When I did a preliminary search, I was frustrated to see that even those comics aimed at younger readers – like Marvel’s Little Golden Books, or licensed properties like My Little Pony and Adventure Time – are often rebranded picture books or written above primary reading levels. Frustrated, I began to think that the answer to their question might be a deflating, “No.”

Until now.

Below, I’ve put together a list of great books and resources for the little readers out there. Covering an array of content, styles, and age levels, these books showcase the diversity and potential of comics to reach students of all ages, and make great additions to any ECE or elementary classroom:

The Ordinary People Change The World Series
By Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos

The Ordinary People Change the World Series

These books blend traditional comic style with the readability of picture books. The series is a collection of biographies centered on heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, and Rosa Parks, but the book presents these historical giants in a kid-friendly, pint-sized way that is endearing and relatable for early readers.

Tiny Titans
by Art Balthazar

Tiny Titans

Art Balthazar’s world of crayon and sidewalk chalk heroes is especially appealing to young readers. Although it’s at the upper end of the K-2 age range, the stories in each book are normally no more than five pages, and the vocabulary isn’t overly challenging. The writing is joke a minute, and kids love seeing characters they recognize in the big kids comics.

Owly
by Andy Runton 

Owly

Andy Runton’s Owly is an adorable character, who goes on kid friendly adventures with his forest friends. What makes Owly especially attractive to emerging readers is there are no words. Readers use images to follow along as Owly learns concepts like cooperation, sharing and compassion.

Toon Books

Toon Books

Toon Books was the “A-ha!” find of this entire search. What’s great about them is they organize their titles by age level, and they hire top notch, award winning talent like Jeff Smith (Bone), Eleanor Davis (How To Be Happy), and Toon Books co-founder Art Spiegelman (Maus). Toon Books focus on publishing books specifically for early readers is what makes them the best option for readers ages 3 and up.

Comics are a great way to captivate emerging readers, and these books will go a long way toward creating a life long love of books.