My Research I need an expert in teaching elementary reading skills AND comic books… I know a super hero that can help. You need to talk to Chris Wilson! Did somebody say my name? www.graphicclassroom.org
Who are you?I’m an elementary teacher wholoves graphic novels andcomics. I help kids learn tohave fun reading ALL types ofbooks. I also help teacherslearn how to use graphicsnovels to inspire their studentsto read more.
So, Sam, how can I help? I wonder if comics can improve your reading skills?If kids choose what they read they will read lots more than they used to and comics are easier but more fun. Everybody can translate the storybetter if they can tell whos talking andwhen they’re talking. Oh and yes they will boost your reading skills and youwill want to read more literature books and read longer.
How do comic books help kids read?Some of civilization’s first storieswere told through pictures. It’spart of being human. Do you knowwhat some of the oldest picturesare? You mean like cave man art and hieroglyphics in the Egyptian pyramids? That’s it!
“Reading motivation increases with choice”. And kids choose comics. Thebest part is that “comics lead to reading other forms of literature”. Look at what my Hall of Heroes students did to their reading scores compared to the other 4th graders at Mathews Elementary School!
ProcedureI interviewed Mr. Chris Wilson on Skype. Mr. Wilson is a technology instructor atMathews Elementary in Nixa, Missouri. He also runs The Graphic Classroom blog andthe Hall of Heroes reading club for 4th graders.Mr. Wilson shared his research about graphic novels and comics with me. He travelsaround the country to talk to teachers about using comics in school. He’s also writtenthree books on literacy, or how people learn to read.
Beginning of Year Scholastic Reading Inventory % STUDENTS BY READING LEVEL60%50% 48% 43%40%30% Hall of Heroes 23% All Other Grade 420% 16% 15% 13% 13%10% 0%0% % STUDENTS BELOW BASIC % STUDENTS BASIC (2) % STUDENTS PROFICIENT % STUDENTS ADVANCED (1) (3) (4) All 5 BB students were in HOH From Chris Wilson, Hall of Heroes Presentation
Middle of Year Scholastic Reading Inventory60% 50%50%40% 38%30% Hall of Heroes 23% 25% All Other Grade 4 20%20%10% 9% 7% 1%0% % STUDENTS BELOW BASIC % STUDENTS BASIC % STUDENTS PROFICIENT % STUDENTS ADVANCED Our only BR students (2) gained 3 of those 5 BB students moved up 450 points EACH in 1 semester From Chris Wilson, Hall of Heroes Presentation
GROWTH DATA AVERAGE SCHOLASTIC READING INVENTORY GROWTH90.0080.00 78.2870.00 65.1660.0050.0040.0030.0020.0010.00 0.00 Hall of Heroes All Other Grade 4 From Chris Wilson, Hall of Heroes Presentation
WHAT PARENTS SAY• This year he made straight "As" for THE FIRST TIME EVER!• My child loves to read now. Before he would check out a book and put it down but now he has turned into a BOOK WORM. I love it!• My child always comes home and TALKS about what he has read and learned.• There are many days where he would rather read a book or comic INSTEAD of playing video games or watching television.• Hall of heroes was the additional push for my son to read more on HIS OWN because HE WANTED TO, not because it was required.• Assisted in INCREASING HIS READING GRADE LEVELS. From Chris Wilson, Hall of Heroes Presentation
Results andConclusion I learned that comics are can be educational. I thought, at first, that comics were not very good for your brain. Now I know that comics ARE good to read and they encourage kids to read other types of books. Kids are more likely to read if the teacher lets them pick the book and the type of book. Just like movies, you have to pick comic books that are appropriate for your age.
Results andConclusion My favorite comics and graphic novels are: Bone, Meanwhile, the strips in the Boy Scout magazine and Diary of a Wimpy Kid That’s great, Sam. I like Bone, too. It was written for adults, but it’s a kid favorite!
Results andConclusion I think comics will help kids want to read more, Mr. Wilson. Sam, I think you’ve got it. Tell your teachers I’d be happy to talk with them, too.
References Here’s all the stuff I used for my project: Skype Interview with Mr. Chris Wilson, educator and editor-in-geek, TheGraphicClassroom.org March 2012 (summarized). A Causal Comparative Study of Students’ Reading Motivation After Reading Comings in the Classroom, Jack C. Wilson, Childhood Education and Family Studies, Missouri State University, May 2009 Cartoons of Mr. Chris Wilson from http://www.graphicclassroom.org/ Hall of Heroes Study data, charts and results from Mr. Chris Wilson’s Hall of Heroes PowerPoint Presentation.