Monday, March 29, 2010

Something to Try - Comics and Reading

I have been watching my boys lately with this new Club Penguin thing they are all excited about. I am not exactly the happiest about having to purchase more fuzzy stuffed animals, but the kids have started to do something that I think has merit with reading.

Especially Sam, who is my most finicky and picky reader. He will only do it on his terms. Or if his teacher asks, not me.

So what have they been doing? They have been creating their own comic strips, using the characters from Club Penguin. I guess it started with some sort of contest -- if they scan it in to the computer they could win -- but that's not the deal.

The deal is, they are trying to write, to create, to make a "story" of sorts. I will be the first to admit they aren't that funny (although they sure laugh hard at them). I asked them the other day how many they have made. "Tons, mom. I have a bunch on this notebook," Sam proudly showed me.

So, tricky mom as I am, I had him READ them to me. Huh? Yep - read. And he did it without a fight, without a problem.

I just got him to practice fluency and expression!

My next step: "Hey Sam, you know that new Big Nate book? Why don't you do some comics like that? More like a story, with some writing in between?" He's had some experience with this already. Diary of a Wimpy Kid got smart and made a Do it Yourself book a while back (he finished that).

See? Jeff Kinney and the publishers knew what would keep kids coming back - have them create! You would think kids would balk at it - it is a lot of work to think of new plotlines, to draw it all, and to inject humor into it. But they love it.

So my Sam has embarked on creating his own book. Who does he bounce his ideas off of? His brothers, of I say it will be about a day or so before Ben and Matt start their own.

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