At the American Library Association’s recent convention in Las Vegas, Reading With Pictures hosted the panel Comics That Make Kids Smarter. The panelists included:
- Josh Elder, founder and president of Reading With Pictures
- Andrea Colvin, Vice President/Content and Executive Producer for Andrews McMeel Publishing
- Jim McClain, middle school math teacher and creator of Solution Squad
- Gene Yang, creator of American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and The Shadow Hero
- Janet K. Lee, artist on Return of the Dapper Men, Jane Austen’s Emma, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey for Marvel
- Nathan Hale, creator of the series Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales
We had an engaging, wide-ranging discussion about educational comics with an audience of enthusiastic and supportive librarians. Below you will find links to each resource mentioned during the panel, as well as a few more!
Josh Elder’s Three E’s of Comics
- Engagement: Text imparts meaning through the reader’s active engagement with written language.
- Efficiency: The comic format conveys large amounts of information in a short time.
- Effectiveness: Processing text and images together leads to better recall and transfer of learning.
Finding Comics and Graphic Novels for Younger Readers
- Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter
- ALA Award Winning Comics (PDF)
- Eisner Award Winners – Youth Categories (PDF)
- ALA Graphic Novels Reading Lists by grade level
- YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list
- School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog
- AMP! Comics for Kids
- Early reader comics from TOON Books
- Lesson plans from First Second
- Capstone graphic novels
Resources from Reading With Pictures
- Why Comics? A brief roundup of relevant research on teaching with comics. (PDF)
- How Comics and Graphic Novels Address Common Core Standards:
– PowerPoint presentation
- Comics Activities for Classrooms and Libraries (PDF)
- Comics for Teaching Content (PDF)
Resources for Creating Comics with Students
- The Comic Book Project, Dr. Michael Bitz
- Adventures in Cartooning, by James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost, and Andrew Arnold
- Comics Are Great, cartoonist and teaching artist Jerzy Drozd
- Make Beliefs Comix comic creator
- Bitstrips comic creator
- Pixton comic creator
- Comic Creator from ReadWriteThink.org
- TOON Books CarTOON makers (great for younger students)
It always strikes me as supremely odd that high culture venerates the written word on the one hand, and the fine visual arts on the other. Yet somehow putting the two together is dismissed as juvenilia. Why is that? Why can’t these forms of art go together like music and dance?
– Jonathan Hennessey, author of The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, and The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation