I’ll admit that the post below is almost entirely lifted from an educational blog dedicated to ICT-ELT, which is geared toward incorporating visual and technological support into teaching. They’re all about adopting and adapting tools to use in the classroom, acknowledging that no sone thing is going to be the solution. It’s cool. I like what they do. And I also really like that the instructor took the time to review issues with the layout of the comics with the students. Balloon tail placement, image panel order, captions… all of it makes a big difference in how well a comic reads.
The art of making an enjoyable and understandable comic page comes in the creator’s ability to lead the reader through the page. It’s like gently adjusting the tiller and the sails of a boat that is the reader’s eye as they clip along through the story…. oof, that was a rough metaphor.
Thursday, 27 February 2014
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom: WHAT A COMIC LIFE!
Our students are reading Louis Sachar’s highly acclaimed bestselling children’s novel, “There is a boy in the girls’ bathroom.” Although many, if not most, students detest reading at school, we have found this title to be one that taps into the adolsecent-psyche. We can only put it down to its subject matter: sibling rivalry & bullying.Bradley, the protagonist, is a young teenage boy going through his indifferent and belligerent behavioral stage, where he hates everything and everybody; especially authority figures – like, e.g., teachers.…Six important scenes from the book were selected and the students were placed into groups of 2 – 3 and given 50 minutes to create a one page comic.Below are the steps as a jpeg:Here are the tips and feedback we gave them to make their first efforts better:When I was giving the feedback in class there were visible signs from the majority that they were not pleased at the constructive criticism. I soldiered on, and convinced them to engage. They then got a further thirty minutes to redo their comic life pages. You will see the difference…Now, I know they’re are not up there with the quality of Marvel Comics (a previous post about another comic book ELT activity), but at least they tell a message, and it is their own doing. They got creative, eventually, and that was rewarding for us all. I think the most important aspect of this activity is the reflective recall of the excerpts of bullying from Bradley in the book. It gives students a more interesting and productive way for going back to the narrative, rather than simply looking at notes, highlights and annotations. We hope you can try it out, and let us know…