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This project focuses on another interest of mine: using high-quality comic literature to engage and teach literacy. Over the past ten years, I have worked with many boys who are reluctant readers and writers.
In the 21st century, literacy means more than just reading novels and textbooks. Boys of the 21st century turn to other outlets, such as television, video games, and the Internet for pleasure. Any teacher can tell you that the boys in his or her class have an average of five to fifteen hours of screen time per week. There is obviously a high level of engagement for this media. However, if teachers can adequately harness this engagement to images and redirect it towards academic means, gaps in achievement will begin to disappear.
Comic literature significantly and positively impacts the reading motivation, reading skills of students, and leads to reading of other modes such as novels, short stories, and poetry. Using visual media, such as comic books and graphic novels, as supplemental literacy instructional tools is a creative and innovative way to reach any struggling student and simultaneously challenge advanced readers with rigor.
In completing this project, I learned that presentation design is essential for communicating one’s message to an audience. The more reluctant the audience, the more engaging the message must be. I tested this principle when delivering my presentation to colleagues. I truly believe that the effort I spent designing this presentation not only engaged my audience but opened up discussion around comic literature.