Writing used to be strictly an in-school activity. Now, kids do 40 percent of their writing outside of school. Called “life writing,” young adults’ social writing spans texts, tweets, social media, and blogs -- and all of it’s making kids more literate.
I love what comics can do for kids. I’ve seen reluctant readers introduced to the joy of books by way of comics. I watched a teen develop an abiding interest in history via Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History of the Universe. I’ve seen hesitant writers become enthusiastic when their writing has a purpose – adding text by way of speech bubbles and captions to a comic. And I’ve seen school assignments brought to life when kids are encouraged to use a comic format to present information or demonstrate learning. While creating comics, children have opportunities to develop many creative and critical thinking skills – skills that are highly-prized by potential employers.
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Catherine Byrd Bushby's insight:
I have always loved using Kidspiration and Inspiration and LOVE how those programs transform webs into outlines. My students love them as well. However, we are currently using Chrome books in the classroom, and since they are web only, we can no longer use Kidspiration and Inspiration. Webspiration is an online version and, while we still use it, the program is not as user friendly, especially for those who would be using Kidspiration.
Also, I love the suggestion for struggling spellers to make a collection of high traffic words. Excellent idea. The practice actually kills two birds with one stone - the student does not have to struggle to write key words each time they are used (and, believe me, mine would spell key words about 5 different ways in one paper), and the act of thinking of these high traffic words is another form of planning or prewriting. Chances are that creating that key word bank and spelling the words correctly from the get-go will help students better remember how to spell them in the future.
Just as comics may help reluctant readers change their minds about reading, online comic editors can offer hesitant writers a way to express themselves. (Comics can encourage reading and online comic editors encourage writing!
Wow! This article has a ton of links for educational cartooning. My students used a cartooning site (not listed in this article) and loved it, but it was only a trial run and I couldn't afford to purchase it. Cartooning is a great way to pique student interest in the hesitant young writer.
Nikki Giovanni (via writersrelief) ("Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t.
Catherine Byrd Bushby's insight:
I love Nikki Giovanni and I love this quote. How very true. Too often children say they don't have anything to write about because they are only drawing from their own limited experiences. Every time they hear a story, watch a television show, or listen to a song, they can react to it, relate to it through writing. What moves you? That's the ticket.