Friday, April 27, 2018

Our 1st Annual Comic-Con

I was having a conference with a parent a few years ago and she was concerned that her son only wanted to read graphic novels. My opinion is reading is reading and there are a number of graphic novel stories with rich, meaningful themes. And a lightbulb went off over my head. I was going to start an after school book club where we would study graphic novels.

The students stayed after school one day a week, every week. We read the stories, discussed the stories. We watched videos on how authors write the stories-how do they make the speech bubbles, how do they draw the illustrations? Then we sat down to write our own stories.

Their first drafts were about Superman an Pokemon. I asked them to dig deeper and invent a new character. Write a story they'd like to read. Did they want to write a dramatic story? A funny one? Then the juices began flowing! I was so impressed with all the different characters and themes that the students came up with,

I lost many from my group to tutorials-these are reluctant readers. They also are mostly from our bilingual classes. They lacked confidence writing and speaking in English-but they did it! The students worked week after week on their designs.

So today they presented their stories in what we called a Comic-Con. We invited parents and the other classes on campus to come through and see their work.

These are some of the examples:

I had one teacher tell me that one of her students now wants to read all the time (graphic novels) and has really progressed this year in his reading skills. Another time one of the students told me this was the only place he felt normal. Makes it all worth it, doesn't it?

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