Learning can be even more fun-filled if children are oriented to acquire knowledge from illustrations, visuals, paintings etc. that conveys a general idea or a moral lesson rather than just entertainment.Students should also get an exposure to real-life teachings apart from the subject based learning. This might be beneficial for themin getting rid of monotony of text and in enjoying the process of learning. The kind of teaching that students are provided with are limited to the prescribed syllabus. It looks like apart from the subjects it is important to teach children about life so that when they grow up it would be easy for them to cope with life situations.Their language is lucid and they areinteresting read and have depth at the same time.
Onepoint that I think bolsters the case in favour of use of comic strips in learning is that the inclusion of illustrations and interactive narrative engages a majority of students, and the use of unadorned grammar, syntax etc. makes it uncomplicated for students to follow.
A wide Range of Comics:
How beautiful it would be if comic books like Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Chacha Chaudhary etc. turn into a pedagogical medium. The 90s kids would definitely remember the allure comic books had in their growing up years. Let us revisit those times and establish the idea of learning which contains a moral lesson in it. The comic books are a great guide to learn life lessons for instance, Tenali Rama, a poet at the court of Vijayanagara emperor had exemplary skills to solve interesting problems with his wit and intelligence. The famous Chacha Chaudhary with his antics amused everyone and at the same time fought against mischief in society.
One of the first things that should be done is to expand the choice of reading and explore different genres. Next is to make children enact it in the class and ask them to embody characters of their choice. In this way a classroom could be turned into a fun room. Some of the books that my personal collection included were Coraline by Neil Gaiman illustrated by P. Craig Russel; Ghostopolis which is written and illustrated by Doug Tenpal, and last but not the least Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy.
Students should be free to choose what to read. However, teachers should decide on a time-framein which to finish a particular book lest children should become indulgent. Another important thing is trying to keep readings secular even though they may involve fantasy.
Graphic Novel, a great way to Explore:
Graphic novels are also an option for a fun -filled learning but the only problem it carries is that it is very complex. The plot is non-linear which means it does not have a proper beginning and ending. On the other hand, comic books have a serialized plot and it contains short stories about heroes and heroines, superheroes etc. it also conveys stories on relevant social issues. So, graphic novels seem to be more appropriate for higher class students.
Are Comic Books and Graphic Novel Differ Only Quantitatively?:
There is no fundamental difference between graphic novels and comic books. The former is large in size and encompasses an entire story in a single book and the latter are illustrated periodicals which are published weekly or monthly. It consists of 20-30 pages. So, it can be said that both of them are pretty much the same.For instance, Manga is a famous Japanese comic book which is published serially. These have a distinctive art style and it is read from right to left which adds to its uniqueness.
From a Learner to a Creator:
A very interesting method to study graphic or comic books is to open the forum for discussion after they are done withreading. Everyone should come up with at least two or three points from what they have observed and ask them to rewrite the story in their own way.Begin with an entertaining activity and gradually count it in formative assessments.This would also help students in learninggrammar, text features, and narrative elements and they would be able to actually review for the summative test through the comic book medium.
Students could also workin small groups of two or four and each one can participate actively by making power point presentation. Firstly, start by making a list of characters, narrative element, themes and motifs. It could be made subjective by focusing on their view points. The idea is not to restrict but to inspire.Brainstorming with different ideas would make students creative whichwould perhaps give birth to writers and illustrators of future.
Reflect on the ideals that these books bear and give them permission to share their views in a visual way for instance a dramatic representation.
Pros and Cons of Using Comic Books /Graphic Novels As a medium
The idea behind implementation of this pedagogical tool is to initiate students in new ways of learning. It is high time for students to switch from the traditional methods and dive into an imaginative world which would require association of ideas instead of learning things by heart.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.