I hope it’s no surprise that I like to give my sixth graders opportunities to make comics, and to use art as well as words in their writing and analysis. We’ve done visual notetaking and added art to many writing pieces, and used a basic comic model for a variety of writing activities.
Last week, as we were examining the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem — Paul Revere’s Ride or sometimes entitled The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere — I had them create a comic by pulling important lines from the poem and illustrating them to help tell the narrative story.
What I like is it allows me to see what grabbed their attention in a piece of poetry, and provides entry into analysis, and hopefully understanding, for those students who struggle with traditional writing but could use an artistic anchor into a text.
I should note that our conversation about the poem also dipped into what (and whose) stories are left out of the American Myth, thanks to the power and reach of Longfellow’s poem.
Peace (and all that history),