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Teacher Finds Comic Books Help 'Make Kids Smarter'

Teacher Finds Comic Books Help 'Make Kids Smarter'

Using comic books in the classroom may just improve learning.

So says David Cutler, a journalism and history teacher at an independent school near Boston, who uses comic books to teach subjects such as World War II and writing, according to an article on TheAtlantic.com. 

"When I teach writing, my students analyze Kingdom Come, in which an aging Superman is distraught over a conflict that wipes out much of the Midwest," he said. "The pages come alive with lifelike artwork by Alex Ross, while writer Mark Waid exemplifies clarity and concision by making optimal use of each speech bubble.

Cutler shared that he was asked by comic-book writer Josh Elder to speak on a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego this summer. 

Comics and the Crisis of Higher Education” certainly didn’t generate as much excitement. But making my way to as many of those panels as I could—more often than not in busy rooms, a few with standing room only—made one thing very apparent: More educators are paying closer attention to comics in the classroom.

Elder is the founder of Reading With Pictures, which aims to "unite the finest creative talents in the comics industry with the nation's leading experts in visual literacy to create a game-changing tool for the classroom and beyond.”

"Elder says his cause is both professional and personal,"Cutler said. "As the child of a single parent, he had to wait in line for government-issued cheese. He struggled at home, but in school teachers encouraged his love of comics, which played a large role in his success in the classroom."

Elder and his team recently released Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter with 180 comics for students including, George Washington: Action President by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, Doctor Sputnik: Man of Science by Roger Langridge, and The Power of Print by Katie Cook. The stories are aligned to Common Core standards and include a teacher's guide.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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