Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Teaser Trailer for *Kid Beowulf and the Song of Roland*
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize will be presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year in the United States by a living American citizen or resident. The announcement of the award will take place each spring and the prize of $2,500, the two volume set of Ward’s six novels published by the Library of America, and a suitable commemorative will be presented each fall to the creator(s) of the award-winning book at a ceremony to be held at Penn State.
Friggin' Sweet! And I didn't know that Ward's work had been donated to the libraries at Penn State!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Review of *Best American Comics 2010*
Friday, October 15, 2010
Review of *Your Life in Comics: 100 Things for Guys to Read and Draw*
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Nice Praise for MLA's *Teaching the Graphic Novel*
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
With so many prose writers trying their hands at comics and also talking about how difficult a transition it can be, it's neat to see someone from the other point of view. Click the title to this post for the entire read.
Labels: jessica abel
Me: Doing the Bucky since 1977
The 99 started as a comic, of course, and is also designed to help people understand that Islam is not all about crashing aircraft into buildings and hyper-violence, but, I guess if Westerners understood that, it'd make it that much harder to "kill them back."
Ah, the political dangers of peeling back the layers of othering to reveal the best of all humanities.....
I'm going to go cry now......
Monday, October 11, 2010
Labels: elite universities
A Big "THANK YOU!"
I'm especially eager to read Craig Fischer's essay, which seems to focus on Theirry Groensteens' The System of Comics, a textbook for my "New and Multimodal Literacies" graduate class next semester, and I see lots of application in my own work in Charles Hatfield's article on interdisciplinarity in comics studies.
Friday, October 08, 2010
The article makes it sound like this phenomenon is widespread, though, and downplays the role that other media -- children's cartoons, video games, websites, digital books, etc -- could be playing on the declining sales. I can certainly see where someone could find parents so hell-bent on baby going to NYU that they'd pass judgement on books that are developmentally appropriate for their children and go straight for frustration-level reading. What a way to build success, as this quote so clearly illustrates!:
Now Laurence is 6 ½, and while he regularly tackles 80-page chapter books, he is still a “reluctant reader,” Ms. Gignac said.
Sometimes, she said, he tries to go back to picture books.
“He would still read picture books now if we let him, because he doesn’t want to work to read,” she said, adding that she and her husband have kept him reading chapter books.
Poor Laurence. Do you think his reluctance might be because he's being asked to read things he might not be ready to properly appreciate or enjoy?
Interestingly, the article mentions how well YA lit is doing right now and also mentions that graphic novels are part of that development. Are we at a point where parents see graphic novels as a sophisticated literature and are shoving off all those preconceived notions, once reserved for comics, onto children's books?
While I can list several children's literature scholars whom I'd pay to see squirm if this is the case, I hope it is not. If so, however, we might soon need to discuss the similarities in comics and picture books rather than focus on their differences.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Mighty Morphin' Vocabulary Rangers!: Articles in Recent JAAL and Reading Teacher Jibe Well with *Super-Powered Word Study*
Specifically, Michael J. Keiffer and Nonie K. Lessaux's "Morphing Into Adolescents: Active Word Learning for English-Language Learners and Their Classmates in Middle School" and Joan G. Kelley, Nonie K. Lesaux, Michael K. Keiffer and S. Elisabeth Faller's "Effective Academic Vocabulary Instruction in the Urban Middle School" focus on academic language and morphology. *
"Effective" informs readers that many urban middle school students struggle to understand and use academic vocabulary, which is often rife with ancient roots and affixes. But, when students use "morphological awareness skills," they "gain the cognitive tools they need to learn a large number of words independently."
Students need to learn how to use context clues, of course, which is just one of the many things covered in Super-Powered Word Study.
Both SPWS and these articles suggest overt, explicit, interest-based exploration of language with students drawing on texts they appreciate and are already inclined to be interested in.
Comics, anyone? There are 15 comics stories awaiting students in SPWS, along with suggestion on teaching morphology and developing language exploration skills and attitudes!
Both articles suggest particular attention to morphology as pertinent to vocabulary growth. "Morphing Into" reminds us that morphology is "the study of the structure of words as combinations of smaller units of meaning within words: morphemes," and morphemes include affixes and roots, the exact units of focus in Super-Powered Word Study.
"Morphing Into" suggests that teachers help students when they teach morphology in "an explicit yet meaningful way," as part of a "thinking strategy" rather than as "a bunch of rules or lists of word parts."
Considering what words have in common and are unique is one such way of doing this, and the authors even use a figure to illustrate "Word Sets" that look very much like word sorts, which students can do in SPWS to help them consider morphemes.
Further, students and teachers are encouraged by both articles and SPWS to adapt an explicit language exploration ideology in considering words.
"To exponentially increase vocabulary, students need to develop word consciousness and a curiosity about words," says "Effective." Super-Powered Word Study agrees and helps teachers tap into our innate interest in language by explaining how Larry Andrews' Language Exploration and Awareness theory can help us morph into active language explorers and linguistic inquirers.
"Morphing Into" suggests a 4-step process in which students must endeavor to study words morphologically. Step one involves word recognition study; step two requests overt study of word parts they might know; step 3 asks for hypotheses regarding word parts, and step 4 suggests hypothesis checking.
Students using SPWS will be asked to follow similar processes when they use riddles to figure out/hypothesize meanings of words featuring specific roots or affixes, sort words by their features, and record their observations and hypotheses in their word study journals.
"Effective" also suggests that at the end of each unit, students write, integrating new words, to suggest their mastery over them. All of SPWS's assessments are based in creative writing and ask students to do exactly as this article suggests. "Effective" asks for 5 words in a paragraph, whereas SPWS asks for 6 and also asks students to use "clue language" to show they have also mastered using context clues.
As anyone involved in academic work will tell you that keeping abreast of current research is difficult and tiring work. Further, when it comes to book writing, you're always taking risks that your book will hit the market and then new research will come along to blow its premises out of the water.
And, of course, there's no way to read research published alongside your book or after the book has been "set" such that you can integrate it into the book. There comes a time when you just gotta do the Anne Bradstreet thing and watch your baby walk to school, where you hope it does well.
So, Erik and I certainly did not have access to the classroom-based research coming out of these articles when we wrote Super-Powered Word Study, though many of the sources cited in each article also appear in our book, but isn't is wonderful to know that concepts and findings associated with this brand new research fits the goals and aspirations for students of Super-Powered Word Study?
I think so and think you will to!
James Bucky Carter,
Co-author of... Well, do I have to write it out again? ;)
*Hey, I edited and wrote chapters for Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by PAge, Panel by Panel. Do you think I have any hate for the long title? Further, I'm refering to the articles as if they wrote themselves simply becuase I don't want to write all of those names over and over. Titles are one thing: they can be turned into acronyms and keep reader's comprehension going without much trouble. BLCWGN:PBPPBP anyone? Authors' names? Not so much.