IN THE CLASSROOM
Unlike many comics, this entire series by Learn Well Graphics is intended and designed to be used in the classroom. Mixing technology with comic books, Keaton writes an overview of the American Revolution that could easily be incorporated into an existing class. This series is a perfect addition to a lesson or unit on the American Revolution. What makes this so exceptional and sets it apart from other comics or graphic novels, is not just the electronic rendering of the comic on CD, but the interactive nature of the CD version of the booklet. Children will respond to the movement of the panels and the voiceovers that can read all of the text, in theatrical ways. This is brilliant on the part of the creators and is essential in an inclusive classroom. Students with disabilities and those with lower reading abilities will be engaged and can read along while the narrator reads the text. Students who are gifted or those who are especially interested in history can also use the additional resources to learn more about the American Revolution. This approach makes better use of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences when compared to traditional lecture. Periodically, when using the CD-based comic, the narration ends and a short quiz will pop up to assess the learning. A teacher can choose to stop there for the day or continue on, based on the results of the assessment.
As for a technology-based classroom, there is no better way to teach history than through this medium. The information can be studied in several ways: one-on-one, small groups or as a classroom. Students can read through the booklet alone or in groups of two, or students could utilize technology and study the subject at a single computer in groups of two or more. The teacher could also choose to project the comic on the CD onto a screen and teach the entire class at one time. This opens a lot of doors for a teacher to work with a classroom that may have many students at many different levels.