I don’t think my daughter would mind me telling you that she loves Marvel Comics. I also don’t think she is the only kid out there that loves Marvel Comics. Or DC Comics. Or the X-Men. O superheroes in general.
A lot of your kids are huge into comic books and graphic novels. I’ve said it many times, most recently regarding the Hunger Games series:
Some suggest that we shouldn’t have to use pop culture to teach social studies. I disagree. I will use pretty much whatever it takes to engage kids in content. And if the relationship between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale hooks students into a better understanding of civic and geographic concepts, we ought to be all over it.
The same thing can be said about the whole Marvel Comic world. It just seems like a great way to integrate reading and writing skills into your instruction. But I haven’t played in that world enough to put ideas and lessons and materials together so they can be used in the classroom.
The good news? Read more
We’ve always asked our kids to read. Informational text. Primary sources. Non-fiction. Fiction. Poetry. We’ve always asked our kids to write. Summaries. Research. Reviews. Reaction papers.
At least, that’s been the theory. Good social studies and history instruction has always included these things but I think that sometimes we can forget how critical reading and writing skills are to what we do. The Common Core, for better or worse, has been a good reminder for us. We need to have our kids read, write, and communicate much more.
The problem for many of us?
Uh . . . what does that look like again?
Several years ago, I wrote a quick Tip of the Week highlighting a handy graphic organizer called Cubing. It was basically an easy way to ask kids to think about a specific topic using a variety of cognition levels or to help them summarize their thinking after reading and before writing.
At the time, I provided a simple cube template that you could print out and use with your kids. And you can still use the template, it still works.
But thanks to my new buddy at Tracie’s Favorite Places via #sschat, I was introduced to a cool tool that can help you and your kids use the cubing graphic organizer idea in new ways.
You’ve heard about iCivics before.
If you haven’t, quick overview. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor help created a very cool civics website with video games, teaching resources, and other standards aligned materials.
And it just got better. They’ve added Drafting Board.