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Comic Book Club — Help Please!

Creative commons - free us superhero images
Creative commons – free use superhero images

I am writing this blog post hoping for a little help.

My school has a very active after school program, and I am proposing starting a Comic Book Club. The audience will be quite young —  most likely 1st and 2nd graders.  I have quite a few ideas for the sessions, but I also know that students aged 6 and 7 are consuming media at home that varies widely in content.  Part of my charge as a school librarian, is keeping kids in a range (content and ability wise) that is close to grade level.

I have the tried and trues down like the Toon Books, Babymouse and Squish, Starwars as well as Tiny Titans. I am learning more about superheroes myself, and am hoping you all can pitch in with some ideas for superhero series that are in synch with students of this age.

I appreciate any insights you may have, and thank the many of you that share your fantastic programs on this blog and beyond so that we aren’t constantly starting from scratch!

12 comments

  1. Julie

    Try the Lunch Lady series! And count down the days until they can read Bone (more appropriate for middle grades).

  2. Renee Perron

    Try Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires. There is a whole series of this graphic novel.

  3. Laurie VonGunten

    Try the Beaver Brothers. Pretty Funny!

  4. Stacy

    Thanks! I definitely plan on using LL, and will check out Binky!

  5. Berit

    Here are some good lists that others have put together, hopefully you’ll find some inspiration there:

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/62202/10-great-kids-comics-early-readers

    http://goodokbad.com/kids/#prek

    http://neillcameron.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/comics-for-6-year-olds.html

    Also, the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi is fabulous (and not on any of these lists!) but I believe it is aimed at ages ~8-10.

    Good luck! 🙂

  6. Stacy

    I will have to order some more Beaver Brothers because ours are never on the shelves! And yay for lists! Thank you all.

    I am planning on some cape making, comic writing and hopefully we can get a guest graphic novelist in at some point!

  7. Leslie Guhl

    Neill Cameron’s blog gave a link to this incredible list http://www.comicsandcola.com/p/ive-been-meaning-to-put-together-list.html

  8. Dana Jones

    Hi! I’ve been doing a comic book club for 2nd through 4th graders for the last couple of years. It has been a fantastic experience. I put out paper on the tables and allow drawing and doodling throughout the meetings. It actually helps them focus!
    For all of my books I include a comic-making or STEM activity.
    Here are some of the books I’ve used and the associated activities:

    Hamster and Cheese (from the Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye series): make a spyglass, complete the comic panel exercise from Adventures in Cartooning

    Kit Feeny: Zombie Sock Puppets, negative space drawings

    Bird and Squirrel: look at other Unlikely Animal Friends and create a comic with your own unlikely pair

    Battle Bunny: watch the making of video from Matthew Myers, read out loud the unadulterated “Birthday Bunny,” give discarded board books the Battle Bunny treatment

    Knights of the Lunch Table: make our own Coats of Arms, we also communicated with the author (Frank Cammuso) about the significance of the numbers he repeated in the book (he also has another series, Salem Hyde that I plan to use this fall)

    Robot Dreams (wordless): make artbots

    Binky: make rockets with alka-seltzer and film canisters. We also drew Binky and wrapped the drawing around the rocket so Binky could finally make it into space.

    Dragon Puncher: This one is really perfect for 1-2nd graders. We used ipads and the app Strip Designer to create our own photo-based comics.

    Squish: squishy circuits!

    Rudyard Kipling’s comics “How the ? got it’s ?”: There are four different titles. The kids each picked one to read and shared the story with the group. We did an animal adaptation experiment with M&Ms and Skittles.

    But there are so many more comics you could use: Lowriders in Space, Owly, The Meeting, The Gumazing Gum Girl (actually a chapter book, but with lots of comic-style illustrations), Long Tail Kitty, Detective Blue, The Flying Beaver Brothers, Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza

    I’m really excited to have the kids make their own recycled racers after reading Lowriders in Space this fall. Bonus points if your racer is Bajito y Suavecito! (low and slow).

    Good luck!

    1. Jennifer

      Dana, I am about to start my own after school comic club for 3rd and 4th graders. Do you have a “curriculum” or lessons mapped out? If so, may I have them?

  9. Amy

    I lead an after school comics club for 4th and 5th graders. Here is my list of recommended superhero comics (and books) for kids, with grade recommendations for each:
    http://delightfulchildrensbooks.com/2014/03/27/superhero-comics-for-kids/

    There aren’t many superhero comics for elementary school kids. True comics featuring superheros are increasingly being written for older audiences.

    There are many fantastic comics for elementary aged kids, including 1st and 2nd grade, such as: Guinea Pig Private Eye, Binky, Bird and Squirrel, Sidekicks, Calvin and Hobbes, Mutts, Secret Science Alliance, Graphic Guide Adventures, Frankie Pickle… and many more.

  10. Liz Gotauco

    Superhero series for the young ones: Superman Family Adventures, Aw Yeah Comics, and the “itty bitty” series (itty bitty The Mask, itty bitty Hellboy), Marvel Adventures Super Heroes series (some are out of print, but not all, especially the Avengers characters), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a kids comic series based off of the Nickolodeon cartoon.

  11. Stacy

    Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! I truly appreciate them. I will let you know how things progress once we get up and “flying”!

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