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Gabbing About Garfield: Conversing About Texts With Comic Creator
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Two 60-minute sessions|
With many of your students probably familiar with comics and manga, this lesson offers the perfect chance to get students to think critically about the comics they see in the paper every day. Students begin the lesson by playing an online game that requires them to sequence Garfield comics and answer questions about the strips. Each round has three questions targeted to specific skills: comprehension, vocabulary building, and drawing inferences. Then, students are introduced to the features and conventions of comics and examine how the Garfield strips use these comic conventions. Students work in pairs to conduct a written conversation about Garfield comics and record their conversations using the interactive Comic Creator, incorporating features of the comic strip genre into their original texts.
Comic Creator: This easy-to-use tool allows students to create, edit, and publish their own customized comics.
Xu S.H., Perkins, R.S., & Zunich, L.O. (2005). Trading cards to comic strips: Popular culture texts and literacy learning in grades K–8. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
- Popular culture texts, such as comics, trading cards, television shows, and graphic novels, provide opportunities to engage children's literacy interest and motivation.
- Successful comics mimic reality and stimulate readers to think about current issues.
- Comics are similar to other narrative texts in terms of story elements (e.g., characters, story sequence, conflicts), and similar to a television show or picture book in that pictures tell part of the story.
- Comics also include some unique structural features, such as the use of speech bubbles, conversational tone of text, and the reliance on visual effects to enhance meaning.
Van Sluys, K., & Laman, T.T. (2006). Learning about language: Written conversations and elementary language learners. The Reading Teacher, 60(3), 222–233.
- Students learn about how they use language for authentic purposes as they converse with peers on paper.
- Collaborative writing provides an opportunity for students to merge their knowledge and understanding of how language can be used.