Since I’m just getting started teaching this semester, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to integrate comics into the classroom, though I know it works, and quite a few people use them. It’s mostly just been in the theory phase, and it works one-on-one with the high school senior I tutor, but still I don’t feel quite experienced enough to facilitate them effectively. Having the knowledge is completely different from actually teaching it. That’s the thing that I’m discovering with teaching—it really is just touch and go and sorting out what’s best and works for you to get the point across.
Frequently, I think it looks like a stand-up routine because I’m completely unafraid to make fun of myself, unable to write on the board and talk at the same time, but I feel like it is the sort of thing that you get better at the more you do it. I just have to loosen up, really, and if you know me at all—that’s not something I do well.
Chris Sebelareports on the Kickstarter Project, “The Graphic Textbook” which brings comics to the classroom. This is particularly relevant to my interests as throughout this semester I’ve been trying—through trial and mostly success—to use comics to unlock higher literary concepts, and how they can work in a core composition class or in a high school setting. The thing is, I’m largely flying blind, but I guess this Reading With Pictures organization is a great place to start. Thanks, Chris!
Josh Elder in Chris’s post on The Graphic Textbook. Just putting this here to have a place that I can refer back to it when building my class. Once again, I’m behind the curve.
For the last few months, a talented university teacher named Christy Blanch has been putting together a college-level course called “Gender Through Comic Books”–but it’s not limited to college students. It’s the world’s first comics-related Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)–meaning that it will be FREELY AVAILABLE to ANYONE across the world who has web access and who’s interested in comics and in the creative process. There’s no obligation, NO COST, and all you have to do is take thirty seconds to enroll at the following site:
As I’ve started teaching in the last year, I’ve been working out how I can bring comics into the classroom. It’s been a project of mine since last Spring, but I think I’ve finally got something solid. More soon.
The Canadian Council of Learning has gathered definitive research showing that readers who love comics also tend to read more text-based material and report enjoying reading more than their peers who don’t pick up comic books.
Mozzocco:In other words, are you writing for grade-schoolers or grown-ups or both, and is that always in your mind while writing, or do you write what you personally find well-constructed and funny and worry about who is reading later in the process…?
Fisch:Well, to really answer that question, I have to back up a bit and explain some of the other stuff I do for a living.
When I’m not writing comics, I’m a developmental psychologist who helps make educational media for kids—TV shows, interactive games, things like that—and I worked for years and years at Sesame Workshop, where they make Sesame Street and other things. To encourage parents to watch with their kids, Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, with plenty of gags and slapstick to appeal to kids, plus parodies like “Monsterpiece Theater” for the adults.The Adam West Batman series did something similar too. When I was a kid, I loved Batman for its super-hero action and adventure, and it was only years later that I realized how funny it was. From that point on, I started to appreciate it on a whole other level. That’s the same sort of thing I go for when I write kids’ comics. If you’re a kid, there’s action, adventure, and jokes for you. But if you’re a longtime older fan, there are assorted in-jokes that most kids won’t even notice but, hopefully, will keep you entertained too.