What a lovely discovery. Japanese Notebooks is hard to describe, as writer/illustrator/graphic novelist/manga creator Igort shares his fascination with Japanese culture and Japanese art through a dream-like book that mixes illustrations, art and photographs.
Igort’s artistic vision is stunning and beautiful, capturing his life as a European immerses himself in Japan’s world of manga and animation. The book unfolds with all sort of threads, and Igort warns the reader early on that this is how he intends to tell his story. Even with the strange narrative lens, where linear sequence is less important than the heart of his stories, Japanese Notebooksis sure to capture your attention.
“This book is the story of chasing a dream, and surrendering upon finding that dreams cannot be grasped.” – Japanese Notebooks, Igort, page 7
At its core, it tells of a graphic novelist exploring his inner world of creativity through the lens of a culture that has long fascinated him. Through Igort’s passion, we learn of Japanese poets, artists, writers, animators and more. He found much success, starting with his manga series Yuri.
This book would be challenging in content and construction for students, and some adult themes emerge later in the book.
As part of our Digital Lives unit, I tapped into a project by Kevin Kelly to have my sixth graders visualize and map out their relationship and understanding of the Internet and technology. Kelly’s Internet Mapping Project, started years ago, offers an interesting glimpse into how we see the wired world around us, and where we situate ourselves. Part of the visual prompt is find your home.
My students were no different. What was just as interesting was getting them to write a reflection on their Map of the Internet, digging into the ways that technology both expands and contracts their experiences as adolescents.
Kelly still invites folks to make their Maps, although I am not sure if he is adding new ones to the collection. You don’t need Kelly to do this. Use that Internet you’ll be conceptualizing and mapping to share out with us. You can download the PDF and also view the gallery of Maps.
I’ve been sharing out some of the work I have been doing with my sixth grade students on Fake News and Media Literacy within our Digital Lives unit. I shared an introductory presentation and then an overview of a digital comic activity that my students worked on. Today, I wanted to share some samples of the student work. These are just pieces of what they were doing.