REaChing for the stars
Empowering English Language Learners
This week the Advanced English comic class gave their "time traveler" reports and they had a lot to say about their time travels. (Cary, 2004, p. 121, Going Graphic) Students worked in two groups, one looking at Archie Comics and the other at Batman comics over several decades. They read comics from the 1940s, 1970s and the late 1990s or 2010s. They examined these comic stories for changes in style and content, such as how much detail or abstraction was in each comic, or how roles of men and women changed over the years. They gave an oral report with visuals sharing the changes they'd found. The Batman group noted that Batman's physical characteristics change over time, in more recent years, he becomes more realistic and defined, with elements of his costume and body being more elaborate and "macho." They also noted that the amount and portrayal of violence changed. In the 2011 comic, there was lots of blood that you never saw in earlier versions. I pointed-out that this recent comic also lacked the sound words, like "bang" and "whack" that make a comic feel comical.
The Archie group looked at ideas about money and noted that the value of money changed over time, as well as the focus of the characters on money. They also saw clothes get casual and skimpy as years went on, with much more skin being revealed in later comics. In the 1970s comic, theywhere women were arguing for equal rights, including splitting the bill on date tabs. They enjoyed learning some outdated expressions like "hot dog!" as in, "wow!"