Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reading and Writing with Comics: Sequential Art Narratives for Novices

(Grades 4 - college) Eastern Michigan University–Pray-Harrold 324-325; June 24-26, 9 -3 daily,
($95 – three days, breakfast) 15 SCECH’s available

By Pam McCombs

I’ve only been teaching first-year writing for five years, but when I have my students create comics I’m always thrilled to hear what they have to say afterwards. Here is a comment from one of my student’s final portfolio reflection.
“My mindset about comics changed a lot over the course of this semester. When we were asked to draw ourselves the first day I was thrown out of my comfort zone and asked to do something very different from what I was used to. I didn’t like comics at all at the time. I didn’t think drawing comics was going to help me improve my writing skills, especially as a college student. This started to change, however, when I realized I wasn’t being graded on how well I was drawing or even how much detail I included. I realized I was being graded on the structure and how well the panels were flowing . . . I also began to understand that “the rules can differ depending on the situation” (Understanding Rhetoric, p. 5). Once I started understanding this, I was much more comfortable with comics and I started feeling more confident with my writing.”

Comments like this keep me including reading and creating comics in my first-year writing course.

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