The Comic Book Curriculum: Using Comics to Enhance Learning and Life

Front Cover
Libraries Unlimited, 2010 - Education - 189 pages
Comics have more depth than might be supposed. Superman is an immigrant from another planet. Batman exhibits a high level of moral development. The Bushido code is alive and well in Wolverine, while Spider-Man's greatest strength is his compassion for others. What if these qualities could be tied to classroom topics, inspiring kids to read and learn?

The Comic Book Curriculum: Using Comics to Enhance Learning and Life shows teachers how to use these ever-popular stories to enliven any classroom. The book does not suggest replacing classic works with comics. What it does offer is ideas and techniques for using comics to generate interest in a topic and for transferring that enthusiasm to more traditional classroom lessons.

The first section of the book introduces superheroes and the sometimes surprising depth and thoughtfulness of comics. For example, it shows how the X-Men can be used to illuminate the Civil Rights movement, the dangers of fundamentalism, and the power of diversity. Similar treatment is afforded to other popular characters such as Batman and Superman, and curriculum connections are made to topics that include the struggle between freedom and security, Norse mythology, the Holocaust, and nuclear disarmament. The second part of the book offers specific tools that will help teachers use comics as a welcome---and effective---doorway to learning.

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About the author (2010)

James Rourke is a history teacher at the Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT. He is the author of From My Classroom to Yours: Reflections on Teaching.

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