HAVE YOU READ YOUR COMICS?
Down the ages, parents and teachers have been trying to inspire children to read and expand their knowledge base. For parents, this is where the nightmare begins. Reading, for most kids, is boring. Even if they are forced to read, most of the times, it translates into a useless task for them. Kids cannot concentrate if the subject does not visually appeal.
On the other hand, majority of parents, till the recent past, viewed comics as a waste of time. They felt that reading comics would direct their kids to only believing in fantasies but not the real world.
Today, the scenario has changed. Comics now act as a motivational tool. According to various researchers, comics have provided an overwhelming solution to this problem.
The article called “Superheroes in the making”, published in the ‘The New York Times’ educates us on the latest developments in the comic world. The author, Elissa Gootman, tells us how a number of educational institutions are using comics as a part of their school curriculum. When such activities were initially started, all the teachers would exclaim “Oh my God! Comics.” According to the article, in the United States, a growing number of educators are turning towards comics as a solution for increasing the reading level and educating children. Research has even shown that comic books not only enhance the reading ability, but also the creative skills in children.
The visual sequences are a powerful tool for kids struggling with languages. Francoise Mouly, art editor of ‘The New Yorker’, said that her 16 year old son learned to read through French comics such as ‘Asterix’. She was happy to see her son’s interest in reading night after night.
Some of the educational institutions have even started Comic curriculum programs where kids brainstorm and create their own strip of comics. Qualities such as composing, revising, and organizing thoughts were noticed among students who took part in such programs. The main goal of these activities is not to replace text books with comic books, but to build a foundation that could help kids progress further.
In 2005-6, teachers at Maryland schools taught lessons based on old Disney comics. It was found that both the teachers and students had positive perceptions. Overall, lot of institutions have been encouraging and inviting more teachers to undertake such kind of activities.
The main reason why kids find such activities fun is because they get to work on their own design and characters. They have the feeling that it is their own story, they want to make it amazing.
EZcomics has been working on the same concept that is mentioned above. The motto “Education made easy” itself speaks a lot. Why should kids ram on through huge chunks of matter when they can grasp more through visuals and limited but good information. EZcomics has revolutionized the learning process by launching American history comics.
History has always been referred to as a boring and tiring subject. EZcomics is trying to break this wall. Children can be encouraged to learn about their cultural entitlement and increase their awareness about history. Till now, there has been lack of understanding about history and its important visionaries among kids. Through EZ Comics, they will have a better understanding and a sense of pride would gradually swell within. If kids love fictional superhero comics, they can also love the real superheroes of the past.
After studying the above facts, it can be said that this is the perfect time to introduce EZ comics. Kids can learn and stay away from boredom at the same time. Comics in other areas of knowledge would soon be following.
The ‘Comics curriculum’ trend has already started in the United States and it would surely spread to other nations. There won’t be a surprise if, in the near future, comics would be used in classrooms of younger students to develop their thinking ability. Imagine parents telling their kids, “Have you read your comic?” rather than “Have you done your homework?”