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How We Learn: Comics Theatre



  •  Model and practice reading comics in a collaborative social setting
  • Share comprehension techniques
  • Develop appreciation for dramatic presentation
  • Notice and share techniques and styles of professional creators

To share and enjoy our comics reading skills, we read aloud from our own comics and from the works of professionals.  Here’s how Comics Theatre works:

  1. Choose a comic that shows an interesting approach, style, or technique. 
  2. Copy each page or panel onto transparencies, or scan them into the computer.
  3. Project the comic onto a wall or screen.
  4. Each member of the class takes a certain role for each page or section.  Roles might include:
    • Characters’ voices
    • Characters’ thoughts
    • Narrator(s)
    • Sound effects
  5. Working together, we read through each page aloud, dramatically.  This requires careful attention to many issues, such as:
    • 07nhng_theatre.jpgHow does the space of the page indicate reading order?
    • How does the space indicate pauses, and silence?
    • How does the graphical presentation indicate inflection, meaning, and style of delivery
    • What do we know about the characters from the ways they’re drawn and written?
  6. After we’ve read, we go back through the entire piece carefully and share what we noticed about the artwork and writing.
  7. Individual students point out details, structural elements, and stylistic choices made by the authors.  We can also compare the piece to others we’ve read in this way.

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