Comics Promote Literacy
Holy Cow! September 25 is National Comic Book Day
There is an increased acknowledgement in the teaching and library communities that comic books and graphic novels can be a great way to get kids (and people of all ages) to increase their literacy skills. There are comic books now for almost every genre and almost every audience. ---Malea Walker, the Library of Congress
Holy cow! Ms. Walker is right. I read a lot of comic books as a child, and I believe they not only entertained me but they also helped increase my vocabulary, critical thinking, and reading comprehension.
ProLiteracy gives five ways comic books help learners read better.
Adults with low level reading skills may find comic books less intimidating than books with lots of text.
2. Reading Comprehension--Cowabunga!
Comic book readers strengthen their reading comprehension skills by following the images and the text. The sequential artwork tells the story. Many of the details are missing in comics, so the reader must interpret the story.
This is what I liked most about comic books. All those speech bubbles! Yikes! The characters didn’t talk the way my friends and I talked. It was fun to see the language and expressions they used.
Comic books have the same story elements that novels do: setting, characters, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Many comic book characters use some pretty big words. The images give visual clues to what a word means.
Celebrate National Comic Book Day by revisiting your favorite comic or watch a movie based on your favorite comic book hero. Zooom!
Listen to Sidney Keys III, a St. Louis, Missouri African American teenager, tell how he became a real-life comic book literacy hero. OMG!