Educational Comic Books for the Classroom
These days comic book storylines seem more geared to adults than kids. Plots include graphic violence and intense emotional drama that may not be suitable for kids. However, many comic book series exist that are geared toward making the most of your child’s impressionable years. Once thought to be junk-reading, kid-friendly comic books are proving to be invaluable reading tools in a world dominated by video games and movies.
Best Comic Books for the Elementary School Classroom
According the Open Education blog, the best comic books for elementary-aged school children are:
- Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series
- Chris Wilson’s “Beowulf”
- Chris Wilson’s “Amelia Rules”
- “Clan Apis” series
- “Alison Dare” series
These series present kid-friendly storylines in addition to be thought-provoking discussion tools. Marvel Comics also issues a kid-friendly series called Marvel Adventures, which is always sure to be PG-rated.
You can also download a copy of PBS’s “Nature” Comic book, or request free copies for your classroom for a more science-themed series.
Positive Effects of Comic Books
These books not only encourage reading in school age children, but also promote further inquiry on morals and ethics. Comics books are increasingly seen as a successful introduction to reading for kids, given their highly visual elements that help them to compete with video games, movies and television.
According to Disney’s Family Parenting, age-appropriate comic books can help younger kids become exposed to story-writing elements such as the narrative structure and charracter development. Ongoing plot lines help develop long-term memory skills and help kids learn to create connections.
Discuss Comic Books With Kids
In order to get the most out of age-appropriate comic books, be sure to discuss the events and themes after the kids have read them. Such discussion questions could surround the reasoning for a specific character’s action, what the child would have done instead, and what other consequences might have happened in the real world.
If your child is especially young, post-comic book reading is a good time to discuss the differences between real and make-believe.
Creating Personal Comic Books as an Educational Tool
In addition to reading comic books, drawing sequential art can stimulate children’s developing brains. Using software such as My Comic Book Creator, students can analyze and depict the world around them in creative and unique ways. These simple comic book creators help stimulates kids’ creative side through an easy-to-learn digital approach.
Creating personal comic books can also help older kids express emotions and depict their changing place in the world.
The Comic Book Project
The Comic Book Project was started in 2001 to get kids to write, design and create comic books rather than read them. The project encourages critical thinking, literary development and community awareness in kids, who are then encouraged to depict such themes in comic books. Their books are published and distributed to other kids by the Project.