Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why Not Approach Grammar/Sentence Reviews Through Creating Comics?

Most times when teachers start grammar lessons, they rarely see a class of widely enthusiastic youngsters who can hardly contain their "excitement" at the thought of spending another period on grammar or sentence writing:) This need not be the case if teachers approach this using student interests as a jump off point. Though this may sound easier said than done, it is quite possible thanks to the internet:)

Students of all ages enjoy reading comics. Though this is not considered "academic" reading material, it can be used as a vehicle to address vocabulary, grammar, sentence writing, plot, characters, etc. on a relatively simple level. For ELLs, this format builds vital background knowledge which can be drawn from for more challenging tasks. Further, through carefully structured cooperative learning groups, ELLs not only have access to content, but also have multiple opportunities to develop language with their English speaking peers. Also, thanks to the use of cooperative learning techniques, teachers can easily interact with every student by meeting with each group for a few minutes at a time. With each stop, the teacher can address group concerns and then move on to the next one.

A site I would recommend for this activity is MAKE BELIEFS COMIX! Students may create their own on the first page. I spent about 20 minutes playing on it and definitely enjoyed the process. In fact, I plan on training some of the mainstream teachers on my school site on its benefits for building English language skills for ELLs.

If students struggle with this, teachers may select already printed out ones. There are over 100 of them!

Hope you enjoy the site!



PS Don't forget to follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER:) I will also be conducting a half-day institute at CABE (California Association of Bilingual Educators) March 8, 2012 in Sacramento, CA. If you are in town, please come to the workshop:) I am also on LINKEDIN.

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