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The fifth Common Core State Standards College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing states, “Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.” To implement this standard in your classroom, why not try comics? Comics require tight writing to fit words within the speech bubbles in each panel. That means that the author has to know what he or she wants to say, and that precision and focus connects well with the fourth CCSS Writing Anchor Standard: “Produce clear and coherent writing.” Ask your students to show you that they understand subject matter by “trying a new approach” and creating a comic. The books below, which will partner well with STEM curriculum, can help get them started.
STEM Comics for Younger Readers
Max Axiom explains it all in The Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Super Scientist, by Agnieszka Biskup. And who doesn’t like zombies? See how the kids at summer camp solve the zombie mystery In Search of the Fog Zombie: A Mystery about Matter, by Lynda Beauregard.DIY Comics for Younger Readers
Beginners will learn how to make their own comics with Adventures in Cartooning Activity Book, by authors James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and others. For students who want to write a comic for someone else to illustrate, Write Your Own Graphic Novel, by Natalie M. Rosinsky explains writing, storyboarding, and working with an artist.
STEM Comics for Teens
Who knew that math and science could be so controversial? See how today’s computers owe their roots to a 50-year dialogue between mathematicians and logicians about the foundations of mathematics in Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, by authors Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, and others. American physicist Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize, tested atomic bombs, and discovered why the space shuttle Challenger’s O-rings failed, but he also played the bongos and cracked safes. Read about the life of the party in the graphic biography Feynman, by Jim Ottaviani.
DIY Comics for Teens
Teens can take their drawing skills on the computer to the next level with The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics, by Freddie E. Williams. Learn from the masters with Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics; Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden.Bibliography
Adventures in Cartooning Activity Book. By James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, et al. Illus. by James Sturm. 2010. 80p. Roaring Brook/First Second, paper, $7.99 (9781596435988). 741.5. Gr. 2–5.
The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics. By Freddie E. Williams. 2009. 144p. illus. Watson-Guptill, paperback, $22.99 (9780823099238). 741.5. Gr. 9-12.
Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics; Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond. By Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. 2008. 304p. illus. First Second, paper, $29.95 (9781596431317). 741.5. Gr. 6–12.
Feynman. By Jim Ottaviani. Illus. by Leland Myrick. 2011. 272p. First Second, $29.99 (9781596432598). 530.092. Gr. 9–12.
In Search of the Fog Zombie:A Mystery about Matter
. By Lynda Beauregard. Illus. by Der-shing Helmer. 2012. 48p. Lerner/Graphic Universe, lib. ed., $29.27 (9780761356899); paper, $6.95 (9780761385448); e-book, $21.95 (9780761387442). 741.5. Gr. 3–5.
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth. By Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, et al. 2009. 352p. illus. Bloomsbury, $22.95 (9781596914520). 741.5. Gr. 9–12.
The Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Super Scientist. By Agnieszka Biskup. Illus. by Tod G. Smith and Anne Timmons. 2009. 32p. Capstone/Graphic Library, lib. ed., $27.99 (9781429639750). 579.3. Gr. 1–3.
Write Your Own Graphic Novel. By Natalie M. Rosinsky. 2008. 64p. Compass Point, lib. ed., $24.95 (9780756538569). 741.5. Gr. 4–8.
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