Comics can be powerful teaching tools when they are used properly, and not just in art classes. The right comic can help students learn to read, better understand challenging concepts, and help develop their creative thinking and reasoning skills. If you don’t know how to integrate comics into your tutoring sessions or you aren’t quite convinced that they can be helpful, here are some ideas to consider.
Teaching Children to Read
Comics are a visual medium as much as a literary medium. In its most basic format, a comic is a series of pictures with written narration. While this narration can be every bit as complicated and involved as a short story or a novel, it can also be very simple. If you have a student who is struggling with their reading, a comic that matches simple sight words with pictures that show what the words mean. Your student will eventually have to learn to read without these visual aids, but combining words with drawings could make them easier to remember for some students.
Teaching Complicated Concepts
A comic strip or book obviously won’t be the best way to teach all complicated concepts, but they can make it easier for students to understand things like history, cause-and-effect, and basic storytelling. Comics are great for presenting a linear narrative, which can help students get a good grasp on a series of historical events or a story about how actions have consequences. Naturally, some colorful and fun illustrations will make the entire lesson that much more memorable.
Letting Your Students Make Their Own Comics
Of course, you don’t have to just present comics to your students as teaching aids; you can have a lot of fun by having your students draw and write their own comics. While this will be much easier for students who are more artistically inclined, just about anybody can draw a simple comic that tells a basic story, even if all a student can draw is a stick figure and write short sentences. No matter what your student’s writing and drawing level might be, you can tailor this activity to match it. This can help improve a student’s creativity and do something that might be a nice change of pace from your usual lessons and learning activities.