Using Comics to Visualize and Remember

I don’t know if you are like me but I love to learn new things. I’ve been reading some wonderful articles about the STEM and STEAM programs but when I have a lot to do (which is always), I begin to zone-out with all the educational jargon. Just give it to me in 5 simple steps, please. That’s exactly what I want to do today. 5 simple steps to help students visualize and remember.

As a child I remember reading the comics and following Little Orphan Annie or Dennis the Menace. On Sunday they were in color and that was my favorite time to get up early and spread the comics all over my bed and read.

Today I’m talking about the benefits of having students create their own comics. Why are comics so effective in remembering information?

  1. By drawing and sequencing the information it is easily stored in long-term memory.
  2. Visual learners benefit by seeing the images and words.
  3. Audio learners benefit by sharing aloud their comics.
  4. Students feel they are doing something fun.
  5. Creativity is proven to be a catalyst for learning.

This idea can be used across the curriculum but let’s look at creating a series of comics for remembering and visualizing historical facts. Scenario: Civil War, Gettysburg Battle, 1863, importance, who was fighting, casualties, Lincoln’s speech later that year.

  • Brainstorm for ideas. Take notes. Write ideas on the board.
  • Each student creates their own comic or work in pairs. Stick figures are encouraged. Make sure students have large pieces of paper. (18” x 24” white construction paper would work.) Fold into 8 rectangles. They can use however many they need.
  • Students make a rough sketch of the sequence they want to use.
  • Illustrate and use word bubbles to convey the story.
  • Ask for volunteers to share their comic with the class.

Other subjects and ideas:

  • Science – a comic about a scientific experiment and what happened.
  • Math – a series of difficult math words and how they can be visualized and remembered.
  • Spelling – each box is filled with a spelling word and a creative way to remember it.
  • Vocabulary – visualize the meaning of each word.

Let me know how some of these ideas helped your students.

 

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