Hi Bonnie and Tech Team Members:
Thanks for linking to my post on comics — Rick amd Mitch are doing some great work on that for RCWP.
It looks like you had a great meeting yesterday and I am glad to know that you are using Comic Life in your work. Good luck planning the PD!
Nobis Nobis and Cook: Connecting Comics and Essays
Mitch Nobis and Rick Cook are teacher consultants from Red Cedar Writing Project, and presented a number of ways that they connect graphic novels and expository writing in their writing classes. They will also be presenting a similar session at Bright Ideas.
- Thinking about what comics are and how they fit in to the curriculum
- People’s perceptions of “graphic” novels
- Is it a long comic?
- Are they just for entertainment?
- Rick showed up and found out that he had to teach Maus, Mitch always wanted to teach it.
- Why Comics?
- Comics offer a way to teach visual literacy
- Now, Michigan high school content standards address visual literacy and graphic novels
- Comics are connecting an old media with new technologies
- Comics offer an engaging meium for memoir
- Comics invite expository porse and demonstrate how to read with exposition in mind
- How can comics and graphic novels, especially a vignette, turn into something traditional like an expository essay
- Comics and Literacy Response
- Check out McCloud’s Understanding Comics for more on all of this
- Iconography – everything is a visual representation of something else
- In a way, we are so involved because we identify all comic characters
- Closure – the gutter between panels lets you step in to the story and make meaning between the panels
- Paneling – thinking how motion works between panels
- From one image of a person to another image of the same person
- From one moment to another
- From one idea to another
- Amplification through simplification
- Comic art moves from complex to abstract and, in so doing, makes things more general
- Comics are popular with kids for this reason, because they can connect so easily
- Universality – we all look like that
- One of McCloud’s main points is that iconography combined with closure makes something a comic
- Looking at Maus with McCloud as a lens for visual/literary response
- Utlizes students familiarity with the graphic medium
- Capitalizes on the “breaking the rules” nature of using comics in schools
- Introduces academic discussion of graphic techniques and symbolism
- Provides scaffolding as students arrempt literary analysis responding the the visual with the verbal gives students a “blank slate” to fill with original responses
- They are able to go from image to words, whereas they are used to going into the author’s words
- Introduces using “text” as evidence
- Text / Terms = Effect
- By looking at the text, and talking about it with the terminology of visual literacy, they can discuss the effects that the author acheives
- Comic Prompts for Expository Writing
- Missouri Boy by Leland Myrick is a graphic poem that covers many adolescent themes
- Chapter 1 is a prologue about how his grandmother is dying as his mother prepares to give birth to him and his twin brother
- Writing When You Don’t Know: Visual Memoirs and Research Writing
- Writing personal experience
- The move from personal to public
- Generating prompts = exploring what you want to know more about
- Moving from personal to public
- How does Myrick’s birth at the time of his grandmother’s death influence his relationship with his mom?
- Find broad generalities such as “how do our origins/environments affect who we are?”
- Context specific: how does farming breed character (it is not the story of growing up on the farm, or the statistics about farming, but the half-way point between the two)
- How does the structure of school influence laziness, work influences personality, growing up in a church affects morals, etc.
- How do concrete things have abstract meanings?
- How is an iPod a shield?
- How is a football field home?
- How is a photo a story?