Comics Club: Why encourage kids to read and create comics?

Attn. 4th & 5th grade parents and teachers: An online comics club for kids with weekly book recommendations and Comics Creation Challenges!I will be leading an after-school comics club for 4th and 5th grade students this spring. I’m very excited about it. I thought I could lead a stripped down version of comics club here at Delightful Children’s Books.

For the in-person version of comics club, I will be having 4th and 5th grade students read and review comics and create their own comics. Each week, comics club students will choose a book to read from those that I booktalk. I will also send the kids home with a Comics Creation Challenge (related to what we’ve done in comics club) that they can complete at home if they would like.

For those of you with 4th and 5th graders, I will do the same here at Delightful Children’s Books. I will give you a list of books to choose from in a particular genre and a Comics Creation Challenge.

  • Week 1. Humor
  • Week 2. Realistic Fiction
  • Week 3. Superhero
  • Week 4. Comic Strips
  • Week 5. Memoir/Nonfiction
  • Week 6. Fantasy/Mystery
  • Week 7. Manga

*** Rough schedule! Subject to change. ***

Before we begin… 

What are “comics”?

I use the term “comics” to mean stories or vignettes told via a combination of images and text. “Comics” is a general term that includes graphic novels, comic strips, web comics, comic books (i.e. floppies) etc.

Why encourage kids to read and create comics?

1. Reading and creating comics helps kids improve their visual literacy skills — i.e. their ability to communicate with images as well as words. Visual literacy skills are important now that technology enables us to share images easily. Our kids will be expected to create webpages, PowerPoint presentations and documents that use images effectively to communicate.

2. Images in comics often motivate kids to read the text.

3. Images can provide “scaffolding” (i.e. assistance) to help kids learn new and challenging vocabulary.

4. Comics can be used to encourage kids to branch out in their reading. For example, a kid who only reads fast-paced adventure novels might be willing to read mysteries, realistic fiction or nonfiction in comic form.

5. For hesitant readers who enjoy comics, increasing access to comics is the <best> way to motivate kids to read for fun.

In Beginnings, author Raina Telgemeier recalls the impact her father’s encouragement had on her.

Beginnings IClick on this image to read the full comic at Raina’s website!

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This entry was posted in Ages 8+, Ages 9+ and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Comics Club: Why encourage kids to read and create comics?

  1. writersideup says:

    I can tell you that, as a tween/teenager, I emulated cartoon art. I learned a lot about figure drawing through it! :)

  2. Heather says:

    I have been thinking of starting a similar club at my sons’ elementary school! I’ll be very interested to see how you go about this and what advice you have for others who may be kicking around this same idea.

    • Amy says:

      Maybe I can share a outline each week of what we covered for those who are interested in creating their own comics club. I’m pretty busy, but maybe. I’ll definitely share book recommendations, a Comics Creation Challenge and any videos I share with my students.

    • Amy says:

      Also, The Comic Book Project is a resource along with their book When Commas Meet Kryptonite. They focus more on creating comics, while I’ve designed a club that is focused more on reading comics. We will also be playing comics creating games, activities and learning about how comics are created.

  3. Lara says:

    This is wonderful! I have a brother who’s 10—I’ll be forwarding this to my mother and bookmarking it for when my sons are old enough :)

  4. My 10 year old son in 4th grade will be very interested in this! Thanks! We will be reading along with you!!!

  5. lochwouters says:

    Love!

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