Comic books are often frowned upon by teachers and parents. You may remember teachers confiscating comic books during silent reading periods. Your classmates may have also hidden the “offending” comic book behind a textbook during class. However, are comic books that bad or are they just given a bad reputation? Here are a few ways in which comic books can be beneficial for children.
Spark Interest in Reading
If you are finding it hard to get your children to read, you could try comic books. Long chunks of text in traditional storybooks can be daunting for children who do not like reading. Comic books break the text into manageable sentences. The bright pictures and colours are also exciting visuals that hold children’s attention. There are also comic book versions of the television shows that your children may already love watching. A few examples are the Archie comics, Marvel comics and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Reading exposes children to a wide range of vocabulary. Comic books are no exception. The visual material in comic books gives children hints to the meaning of unfamiliar words as they are reading it. For visual learners, the images aid in remembering the meaning of the new words.
Develop Inferencing Skills
Inferencing requires the reader to make logical deductions from the information that is presented. Traditional books allow the author to elaborate more on what is happening in the story. Comic books are limited in this area and hence encourages the reader to make inferences from the dialogue and images. Inference skills are necessary for comprehension. Comic books help to develop this skill in children from a young age.
Make Learning Fun
Like reading traditional books, chunks of text in textbooks are boring for children. Comic books can be used as learning tool for almost any subject to make learning more lively. For example, a class on the history of South East Asia can use vivid drawings to give a first-hand account of life in the period. Pictures of the clothing and environment at the time is more interesting than blocks of text.
Help Children with Learning Difficulties
Examples of learning difficulties are autism and dyslexia. Being able to understand other people’s emotions is something that people with autism struggle with. The vivid characters in comic books help children with autism to better understand feelings. Children with dyslexia struggle to complete a page of text. However, the relative ease of comic books enables them to finish reading one page in a comic book. This gives them a feeling of achievement and acts as a motivator to continue reading.
Comic books can be beneficial for children, especially if they dislike reading. They can boost skills that help them score better in specific subjects. Making learning fun and accessible is a motivational booster, encouraging children to discover the joys and advantages of reading.