This past November I had the opportunity to push my “ban the blank page” issue further by speaking on the topic of comics in the library. I feel very strongly that creative approaches to literacy work and this presentation provides examples of student success and hopes to build a strong case for considering comic story telling a tool for every teacher’s toolbox.
Clinton Elementary students were super psyched to meet author/illustrator Dave Roman in March. His visit marked the first time we have had a comic writer speak and it was worth the wait. His talk focused on his craft, but also on Astronaut Academy. Third – fifth grade students had been getting ready to meet him by creating their own versions of a space academy and were ready to discuss their ideas. Thank you Dave for visiting!
This year at the annual New Jersey Association of School Librarian’s Conference I got to meet Jarrett Krosoczka. Now I was already of fan of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series so I went in expecting good things. What I did not know was that I would become a huge fan of Jarrett as a person. He has inspired me to expand our collection of his books and bring his message and resources to more kids. He has a website, StudioJJK.com, filled with resources and activities for kids.
He also has one of the most popular TED Talks. His story of how this all came to be is pretty funny and an inspiration to me as a teacher as I also dream of one day giving a TED Talk on the power of library. Perhaps my dream will come true!
Marjane Satrapi’s story of her childhood in Iran plays out beautifully in this black and white graphic novel. While this book is most likely best suited for a high school reader, adults who question the validity of the comic form would be well served to “read” this book. Media literacy of today includes not only the written word, but images on tv, film and the internet. My knowledge of Iran circa 1980 was slim and I am a better person for experiencing this tale.