Friday, April 3, 2009

This one's no joke: the comic book project

I thought I should follow my last post with this one. For the problem of the week, tune back in this weekend!

This week's 6th grade English (now known as "literacy") assignment:

The Comic Book Project


1. Original artwork and/or computer graphics
2. Your comic-book characters must have original names.
3. Your comic book must have an original plot.
4. Minimum, five pages long.
5. If you handwrite, the final copy must be in ink.
6. Each page must have at least four to six pictures, with captions included with each picture. You may decide how large each panel should be, but make all panels the same size! Each panel needs at least one or more of the following:
A. scene or a setting
B. dialog or script
C. sound effects
D.captions or word balloons.
7. Your comic book must be in color.
8. Your comic book must have an original cover.
9. Your comic book must be rated for general audience reading!
10. The class will have a "Comic Book Read-Around Day" on the due date to read one another's books.
For J, self-interest, not comic book creativity, is the best motivator.

"Do you want to get a good job?" I asked him.


"To get a good job, you need to get into a good high school. To get into a good high school, you need to have mostly A's. To get an A on this project, you need to follow all the directions."

Most of our city's high schools are terrible; only 40% of city students get into magnet high schools; for admission, grades matter tremendously.

From coloring and captioning to getting a good job: for now, the absurdity escapes J.

1 comment:

lgm said...

Now that my second child is in 6th, I think I've realized that my main problem with this assignment category is that it is for low level students, but assigned to all. The point is always to capture a main idea and some details, define a setting, and tell the story in a logical manner: i.e. to use the reading skills that were taught in 3rd grade. 6th grade reading skills do get used if the child uses dialogue and flashback, but the truly new skills such as simile and metaphor won't be there unless it's the rare kid who remembers memorizing the definitions and decides to be somewhat Calvin&Hobbesish and include some variation of figurative language in the panel. And will a snowflake have to freeze in Hades before symbolism is taught to a non-honors student?

I hope you've got your dedicated color pencil sharpener ready...have a great weekend with this one.