Wednesday, October 31, 2007

11/20 Workshop Preparation V

In addition to making templates, I've also been working on the lesson plan for the 2 hour workshop. I'm going to start with the basics: how to read the comic, panel order, not cramming too many words into dialogue bubbles, etc.

Another point I like to make is connecting words to images. While it seems obvious that words and images would go hand-in-hand with children, many kids don't bridge the two by default. This is often because they focus so intently on what to write, they forget the broader context.

One way to remind them is to go through an example of exactly how what they write can affect the whole mood of a scene. I find when it's made clear, the students will pay more attention to both halves of comic composition.

For example, here one template I'll be using. It's from Jellaby by Kean Soo.

First, I ask the students what's happening. It's also best to have students describe it rather than telling them, because sometimes they can interpret scenes in a way you never thought of. But if they're told by the instructor, they'll take that word as gospel and that shuts off any further inquiry on their part. This is part of the power of the Socratic method, in my mind.

After I get a description of what's being shown in the image, I then ask them to try and explain it. You have a girl reading something, followed by her classmates glaring, and then she gets nervous. What was she reading? And how would that affect why her classmates are glaring at her? I then give each student a comic of their own to experiment with.

That's a sample of some of the material I teach the students. The key components to my teaching style: let them provide the answers and follow up with hands on practice of the concept.

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