What's so funny about teaching children to read with comic books? Nothing at all, apparently. In fact, comic books are being used with some students as an alternative pathway to literacy by teachers across the country.
Educators are discovering the colorful medium's potential for stimulating intellectual growth and expression among at-risk students at urban schools. Proponents of comic book use say students who are otherwise intimidated by pages swimming with text get hooked on reading.
The Comic Book Project at Columbia University, which began six years ago, encourages students to create their own comic strips.
The process of writing original stories triggers a fascination with words among students who otherwise might fall between the cracks. To make comic strips, students must integrate words and visuals in a dynamic sequence of panels that advance stories they invent.