We are back for Week 2 of Comics Club! This spring, I am leading an after-school Comics Club for 4th and 5th grade students as well as sharing book recommendations and comics creation activities here.
I hope that Comics Club will inspire kids to create comics. More importantly, I think Comics Club will give kids a greater appreciation for visual storytelling and will motivate kids to read. Through Comics Club activities, students are actively engaging with the books they are reading. This week, they discussed the characters they had read about in their humorous comics (see last week’s post). They also learned how to depict movement and looked for examples of how movement is depicted in the books they will read this coming week.
REALISTIC GRAPHIC NOVELS
This week, I shared six realistic graphic novels with the kids. The students each got to select one graphic novel to take home and read during the coming week.
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
- Wild Ride: A Graphic Guide Adventure by Liam O’Donnell (A Graphic Guide Adventure series)
- Amelia Rules!: The Whole World’s Crazy by Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules! series)
- Ariol: Just a Donkey Like You and Me by Emmanuel Gilbert and Marc Boutavant (Ariol series)
- The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier and Ann Martin (The Baby-Sitter’s Club Graphic Novel series)
HOW TO DEPICT MOVEMENT
I introduced the kids to four ways to depict movement. The kids found examples of each of these in the books they are reading for this coming week. They also practiced drawing figures on the move and passed their drawings to one another to see if other students could guess what movements they were trying to depict.
1. Draw a figure moving.
2. Draw movement between panels.
3. Action lines.
4. Sound effects.
*See Making Comics by Scott McCloud for his fantastic explanation of how transitions between panels are used to tell stories.
After discussing the first two ways to depict movement, we watched this YouTube video and looked for others. I love this entire series of videos created by author Lincoln Peirce and publisher Andrews McMeel.
I have been getting most of my ideas for teaching Comics Club from:
Making Comics by Scott McCloud
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Flummery.com by Jeff Smith — Art teacher Jeff Smith has been teaching high school students how to create comics since 2002 and shares his ideas here.
QUESTION: What are other good resources for teaching students about comics? Please, share!