Lesson Plans Comics and Sequential Art

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Choose an article and create a comic strip that summarizes all or some of the news. Draw speech or thought balloons next to images of people in the news. What are they saying or thinking in that moment?

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Create a cast of comic characters who can express different points of view on hot-button issues. For example, how can they represent a group that would have a civil but interesting discussion around an issue like gun violence, DACA or the MeToo movement? Find regular features in The Times or other newspapers that students enjoy and illustrate them with a comic. For instance, what would a comic treatment of some of the issues discussed in The Ethicist column look like? How about a comic version of 36 Hours?

Making Comics

Or, what about telling a Modern Love story in multiple panels? There was a lot of overlap between my experiences growing up and the superhero genre — the genre was established by children of Jewish immigrants, growing up in New York and Cleveland. A lot of superhero stories are about being outsiders. Superman is literally an alien and an immigrant. And a lot of the superhero genre is about negotiating between two identities, which really mirrored my own life. I used one name at home, another one at school, had one language at home, another one at school. Something about those characters still resonated.

Superman, and most of the superheroes who followed, represented strong, powerful, morally grounded, white male Americans. What superheroes most resonate with your students? Students so knowledgable about superhero history that a classroom debate demands the citing of unimpeachable sources? What connections can you help them make between comics and other curriculum? What can these characters and films teach us about ourselves and our world? Ask students: Is the effort to create a more diverse superhero universe — full of strong, heroic black, gay , Latino , Muslim and plus-size characters — necessary?

Will diversity attract a broader audience and help a wider range of people feel a kinship with the characters? Or, do you think superheroes and the values they represent are universal, no matter their gender or skin color? The superhero comic is the American dream illustrated, and by definition the American dream must be accessible to all. Students can read the full Opinion piece alongside Mr. After students have considered the question of what makes a true superhero, invite them to use the ideas in this lesson plan from The Guardian to create their own, complete with costume, weapons, strengths and weaknesses, friends and enemies.

Connect the Past to Today. How do the themes of the graphic novel you are teaching still resonate in our world? What parallels can your students find in local, national and global news?

How Comic Books Can Make Kids (and Adults) Smarter

Provide Additional Historical Context. What historical events alluded to in the graphic novel require more context?

Try a Times search to help. Book Three in the March trilogy touches on many important events in the civil rights movement. You can use original Times reporting to learn more about how these events were covered in the media — such as this article about the bombing at a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala. Introduce Background on the Author. Times Search can be your friend for unearthing interesting information about authors as well.

If you do, you will see that The Times has written so much about him over the years that he has his own Times Topics page. Its begins:. It proved they could be serious art.

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The New York Times may not have many of its own comics, but it has been reporting and opining on comics and the comic book industry for a long, long time. Who more ruthlessly tears the mask from the face of pretense? Some of our most familiar comic characters have been with us almost that long. Superman, first introduced in Action Comics No. Nancy has found a new voice thanks to Olivia Jaimes, the latest cartoonist — and first woman — to chronicle her exploits.

Lesson Plans using Comic Books and Superheroes

The first strip drawn by Ms. Since then, Nancy has referenced earbuds, video games, Snapchat filters, apps, anonymous bots and social media anxiety. That mix is in step with Ms. Jaimes wrote in response to questions sent by email. What other issues are comics taking on these days? What new writers are experimenting with the genre? How are old familiar characters being reintroduced? And how do all of these changes attempt to keep comic books relevant for ? From The Learning Network. Our Editorial Cartoon Contest and the Winners.

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The Center for Cartoon Studies. History Comics and Comics in Education. Log In. Read and respond to the series Invite students to read the complete series, noting specific aspects of or moments in it that seem especially interesting or meaningful to them.

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  4. Then discuss in small groups or as a full class: What do students learn about this family and their background? Go back and try again.

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