comic books

As a middle school teacher in South Korea one is expected to conduct a winter and a summer camp for part of the school’s vacation.

This winter I decided to add a bit of extensive reading into the equation. Taking much advice and inspiration from an online class “Breaking Rules” with Mr. John Faneslow I gave my students a wide array of choices of book to read.

All of these books were slightly under their current reading level. I designated the first 30 minutes of every day to reading. I asked students to read a certain amount of pages each day. If they finished before the 30 minutes was up I asked them to reread what they have read.

Now, being middle school there was some push back, but most pleasingly everyone was settled and read for the majority of time each and every day.

In addition to reading time I had them retell their stories to classmates in a 3-2-1 format.

For those unfamiliar with that activity, it is basically a fluency exercise. Students speak for as long as they need to to say what they want to say. Their partners record notes throughout. Then that student is asked to repeat the story, only slightly faster. Partners are encouraged to aid in remembering what the speaker said on the first go round. After a second go the speaker goes again, this time faster than the last. After 3 rounds the speaker is done and speaking duties move on to the partner.

I have tried this activity a few times before and never had much success. However, with a smaller group (9) in camp than in normal classes (35) we fared much better. The students saw real gains from doing this exercise. It was quite taxing on them, but when finished they all displayed quite justified pride in what they had accomplished. It was a great thing for me to see.  For these students are constantly told what they’ve done wrong when speaking or writing. Most never realized they speak so well for so long.

The second activity I had my students do with their books is to create a comic book. These truly blew me away. They are fantastic and I hope you have time to examine them all.

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2 thoughts on “comic books

  1. Wow, what fantastic comics, some of their drawings are brilliant and obviously the writing too! Great idea to do this after the 3-2-1 activity. I’m so grateful that we have to do winter camps and after school classes so we actually get the opportunity to work with smaller groups and try out different activities! I’ve used comic books before but not in this way so will give this a try at some point.

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