Students, Meet Calvin and Hobbes

I guess I fulfilled my duty yesterday in my role as arbitrator of fine literature as I pulled out some classic Calvin and Hobbes comic strips to use as texts for lessons around writing and formatting dialogue (this is always an issue with my sixth graders.)

I did a little informal polling, too. I asked, how many have heard or read Calvin and Hobbes? I teach four classes, of about 80 sixth graders, and only seven students TOTAL raised their hands in response. The rest had never seen nor heard of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.

What a travesty!

And one that I quickly remedied, as first I gave an overview of the classic comic strip and then introduced all of the main characters to them, and then each student received a page with three Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and began the task of rewriting the dialogue as a short vignette, using proper formatting.

The best part of the lesson?

The giggles and the sharing of the comics with neighbors (every student got three different comics on their page) and those who asked, Where can I get a collection of these comics to read for myself? (I have some, of course, but my sons would get angry at me for taking them into school. Our Calvin and Hobbes books are read all the time in my house.) Maybe a new generation of Calvin and Hobbes fans is being born right now after a little taste of goodness and mischief and imagination.

Mr. Watterson, you’re very welcome.

Which reminds me: I have yet to watch the documentary — Dear Mr. Watterson — on Bill Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes, and I know it is on Netflix. I might need to do a little viewing this weekend.

Peace (in the panel),

  1. Thank you! I just pulled out my Calvin and Hobbes which I often use to teach people about what gifted kids are like. I’m going to teach my 5th graders this same lesson!

  2. My son learned to become a fluent reader with Calvin & Hobbes. We can speak to each other in Calvinspeak. For example, I can see a particular egregious of bad tech (he is an IT guy) and say, “Transmogrify.” and he will get it. Two of my fav quotes, both from his last book:

    “Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn’t it wonderful? Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new!
    A new year … a fresh, clean start! It’s like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy … let’s go exploring!”


    “I hate to think that all my current experiences will someday become stories with no point.”

    anti-spam-itosis: octave ho. The trailmaster of the orchestral wagon train raised his baton in the air and speaking in a clear, strong tenor, sang out, “Octave, ho!”

  3. I saw this post by chance and the title caught my attention. Reading it started me on a trip of exploration of some sort, then when I came back and started to write my comment here, something else happened that took me away again to discover some more . Now, I dot have a comment anymore, I have a story; a short story but still a story. I decided to tell the story using one of the tools I want to play with. I have no idea how long getting ready is going to take, but hopefully not too long 🙂

    And all started with a me peeking into this post to see what the tile was about.

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