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Lesson Plan

The Comic Book Show and Tell

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The Comic Book Show and Tell

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

James Bucky Carter

James Bucky Carter

El Paso, Texas


National Council of Teachers of English







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  • To compile a collection of comic books for this activity, check with your school and public libraries. In addition, you may want to ask local comic shops if they have any backstock from Free Comic Book Day. They are often eager to give these issues away. Be sure to preview the selections to make sure they are classroom-appropriate. This lesson uses Ultimate Spider-Man #1, but copies may be hard to find in bulk. The best strategies to make sure titles are suitable for the classroom are to ask a sales clerk to help you identify appropriate titles and to actually read through the comics. Picking up a few extra comics can come in handy later in the lesson when it is time to model page and panel layout. Most stores have quarter bins, boxes of comics selling for 25 cents each), which can provide inexpensive models and examples for students to explore. Graphic Novels: Resources for Teachers and Librarians is also a useful place to find information about comics suitable for your students.

  • Ask students to read a comic book for homework to help activate their prior knowledge for the next day's workshop. Ultimate Spider Man #1 is a good choice.

  • Decide the amount of detail to discuss in your exploration of comic book style. You may choose to include Text, Layout & Design, and Angles; or you may limit your discussion with the class to one or two of the areas. The handouts duplicate the information available in the Comic Vocabulary interactive. Use the option which is best for your class.

  • To simplify the discussion of examples from the comics that students read as a class, you may want to make overheads of some pages from the books. This process will allow all students to look at the same elements and better ensure that the class follows the discussion.

  • Test the Comic Vocabulary interactive on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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