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Constitutional Comics (by Melissa McHugh)

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Check out this cool comics interpretation of the preamble of the US Constitution, sent in by student teacher Melissa McHugh Read the rest of this entry »


Comic Strip Assessment

Here’s a basic assessment tool we used at this week’s AANNH “Igniting the Spark” conference:

Participants worked alone, taking 1-2 minutes per panel to Read the rest of this entry »

AANNH "Igniting the Spark" Conference

DSCF6855Afterschool coordinators and teachers from all over Northern New Hampshire attended this week’s conference, “Igniting the Spark: Integrating Creativity into Youth Programming” (made possible by the North Country Health Consortium and  AANNH).  Participants explored using comics, music, dance, and writing to enliven their youth programs and teaching practices.

Comics Workshop participants experimented with graphic character design, representation of teaching models in cartoon metaphors, and reading cultural & community influences in comics texts.  Here are some sample photos and artwork: Read the rest of this entry »

Center for Cartoon Studies: Professional Practices

Alec Longstreth teaches a Professional Practices class for second-year MFA students at the Center for Cartoon Studies.  On Wednesday, Marek presented his Comics Workshop programs to the class, and answered students’ questions about educational models for comics instruction and exploration.  We talked about a lot of different aspects of constructive, discovery-based arts instruction, with students taking part in dramatic readings, improvised sketches, and even a graphic singalong! 

We also discussed Read the rest of this entry »

Currier Museum: "The Fine Art of Comics" (Teacher Workshop)

We had an inspired group of educators for Tuesday’s professional development day at the Currier Museum of Art. Twenty teachers and guidance counselors from NH and Massachusetts gathered to study comics and connect their cartooning skills with the museum’s rich collections of American and European artwork.

THE VISIT OF THE GYPSIES, Unknown Franco-Flemish (c. 1510, wool & silk, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH)

Read the rest of this entry »

Teacher Tuesday Workshop: Comics in the Classroom

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We had a good turn-out for our “Teacher Tuesday” Comics Workshop at the Sharon Arts Center.  While the weather outside turned slightly frightful (ice and freezing rain), we huddled around the conference table and went over several basic aspects of comics education, including:

  • Useful tools and materials in the comics classroom.
  • How to introduce the form to a group of mixed experience levels.
  • How to move from cartooning (character design) to splash pages to sequential storytelling (“Scene-Action-Result”).
  • Some concepts for planning lessons and integrated units using comics
  • Genres in the graphic novel literature (in this case, history comics)
  • Student artwork (again, samples from history comics)

Thanks to all the teachers who participated and shared their ideas and interest. 

And yes, I posted that list of links to useful Graphic Novel texts!  I’m beginning to rebuild my online library of comics education links.

Lesson Concept: Sequential Poetry Comics

We generated this concept during our “Teacher Tuesday: Comics in the Classroom” workshop for teachers on December 11, 2007.

  1. Take a sample poem (i.e., a Shel Silverstein poem, with a strong narrative or graphic style).
  2. Design a cartoon character based on the poem (a character in the poem, or the voice of the poem, etc.).
  3. Turn the poem into a comic strip!  Using a certain number of panels (or a range of panels), retell the poem.  Include in each panel some part of the poem, plus a relevant picture of the character.

SKILLS:  Understanding & re-presenting concepts from literature, dividing a poem into discrete ideas or sections, connecting artistic style & presentation with literary content.

NACAE’s website, http://www.teachingcomics.org, lists another poetry comics exercise for older students.