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

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Libraries Unlimited, 2010 - Education - 189 pages

This fascinating journey into the heart of comics connects their unique blend of entertainment and wisdom with school curriculum to invigorate teachers and students alike.


What an intriguing idea! 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 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.


  • 11 individual chapters introduce and analyze famous comic book characters, including Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men
  • Teacher tools, including a vocabulary list, curriculum connections, and lesson plans, complement each hero
  • A bibliography of comics and graphic novels can be used in the classroom or for further research

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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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