Tuesday, November 18, 2008


by Chris Wilson

Thankfully for me – or should I say luckily – I was placed in a classroom last semester with a teacher who is open-minded and embraces innovation. In what was the last practicum I would experience before student teaching, I told fifth grade teacher, Amie Turner, about my work in comic literature and asked her for permission to introduce comics to her students. She agreed, which set into motion a host of changes for her and me.

Come to find out, not only did I learn from her, but she learned from me as well, and we both gained a friend in the process. I will always be indebted to her for her instruction and mentoring. Her consult means everything.

This semester I needed a classroom to volunteer in, so I asked Turner and she agreed again. This time, I am conducting a lunchtime comic book reading club. The hope is to come back later and use the classroom for a causal-comparative research study, which is research conducted after the fact. For now, it is just a volunteer reading club conducted during lunch.

This Lunch-n-Munch book club has received a lot of attention from the local media. One television station, KOLR 10, just covered the book club, putting those excited faces on the news and interviewing a couple of them. The Community Free Press also caught wind of the story and interviewed the kids and me. The CFP also put in pictures of the kids. (All students pictured had media release forms.) The students love being interviewed and having their pictures in the paper and on TV.

More importantly, of course, is the fact that the students look forward to reading … at school … during lunch … on their own time. For them, reading has become an adventure, a treasured experience. Isn’t that what reading is all about? I thought I would share our success with you. If you wonder at all if comic literature is appropriate for the classroom, see these media reports, use them to back up your decisions, and to reaffirm your commitment to instill positive reading habits in your students.

Read the KOLR 10 transcript and watch the video here.
Read the Community Free Press story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are great articles and showcase the excitement that, I, too see in kids and graphic novels.
Way to go!