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Lesson Plan

Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study

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Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson capitalizes on the popular appeal of comics by using them to introduce the concept of genre. Students begin by working in small groups to analyze differences and similarities among a selection of comics from a variety of subgenres. Based on their discussion, they determine what subgenres are represented and divide the comics accordingly. They then analyze the professional comics' uses of conventions such as layout and page design. Finally, they create their own comics using an online tool.

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Comic Creator: Students use this online tool to create their own comics.

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Recently emerging as a genre "worth" studying in school, comics can act as a springboard for genre study as well as tap higher-order thinking skills. Versaci (2001) points out that "[A]side from engagement, comic books also help to develop much needed analytical and critical thinking skills. A common goal, regardless of the level we teach, is to help students read beyond the page in order to ask and answer deeper questions that the given work suggests about art, life, and the intersection of the two. Comic books facilitate this . . ." (64).

Further Reading

Versaci, Rocco. "How Comic Books Can Change the Way Our Students See Literature: One Teacher's Perspective." English Journal 91.2 (November 2001): 61-67.

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