3, Trick or FeetBook - 2015
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ABOVE ALL, ENJOY! There is of course never one right way to read, so go for the shared pleasure. Once children make the story happen in their imagination, they have discovered the thrill of reading.
TALK ABOUT THE PICTURES: Point out how the artist paces the story with pauses (silent panels) or speeded-up action (a bursts of short panels). Discuss how the size and shape of the panels carry meaning.
HAM IT UP! Think of the comic book story as a play and embrace the opportunity to read with expression and intonation. Assign parts or get kids to supply the sound effect; a great way to reinforce phonics skills.
LET THEM GUESS: Comics provide lots of context for the words, so emerging readers can make informed guesses. Like jigsaw puzzles, comics ask readers to make connections, so check a young audience’s understanding by asking “What’s this character thinking?” (But don’t be surprised if a kid finds some of the comics’ subtle details faster than you.)
Toon Books provided “How to Read Comics with Kids” on the end leaf of The Shark King. The advice is transferable:
GUIDE YOUNG READERS: Use your finger to show your place in the text, but keep it at the bottom of the speaking character so it doesn’t hide the very important facial expressions.
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