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COMICS IN THE CLASSROOM – WRITTEN BY TALIA BASTILLE
Did your teachers ever tell you that you had to read books that did not have pictures? When it comes to comic books
some school curriculum do not think comics have the potential to be written about on an in-depth level for book reports. Instead, students are encouraged to discuss novels.
Novels can be great; there are plenty that I love. How about the students that have zero interest in chapter books? Some students are heavily discouraged by reading because they do not like the format of novels. No one should blame these students because every individual is different, especially when it comes to reading. When I was in school, the students that preferred to read a graphic novel or a comic book were not allowed to do so academically.
I’m sure teachers are glad that at least students have an interest in some type of reading, but I think regardless of the setting-academic or personal, schools should make room for comic books and graphic n
ovels in the curriculum. Comics and graphic novels have the capability to be written about on an in-depth level. There are many colleges that offer courses based around graphic novels and comic books.
Students go in depth with the story lines during discussion times, and many people go on to write dissertations about them. If colleges approve of comics and graphic novels, other schools should find a similar format to imitate in their classrooms.
I’m not the first to think that comics have deep meanings, however.
I found a Colorado-based organization called Comic Book Classroom. Their mission is to encourage teachers to fight for comic book literacy in their schools. Their website, www.comicbookclassroom.com, lists kid-friendly comics along with lesson plans to encourage discussion. Comics are not just a bunch of drawings with words-they’re filled with rich story lines.
Comic Book Classroom believes that comics can enhance the literacy rate and encourage youth who have minimal interest in reading to eventually turn to other genres.
Comic Book Classroom is not the only organization pushing for comics, however; many public libraries have a graphic novel section. While some comics and graphic novels may not be suitable for those under 18, there are plenty that are appropriate for young readers. We should encourage those who have do not like reading to pick up a comic or graphic novel.
Comic books can be a step to inspire youth to read. Maybe this can extend to fantasy books as well. When I was a kid, I could not get enough of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. I imagined myself fighting the dark Lord Voldemort, or escaping the devious Count Olaf. Not only did my reading skills enhance, but my imagination took flight, and I felt like nothing could stop me. As I grew older,
I began to open up to more books of different genres. Not all people have this same experience, but when we encourage reading in the first place, no matter how silly or fun the genre, we create a healthy pattern to be involved and inspired with books.