Comic Books in the Classroom

My son is a huge Marvel and DC comics fan.  Through his passion for the comics, I’ve become familiar with superheroes and villains as well. 

One day as he told the plot to one of his favorites, I noticed that many characters and landmarks were examples of alliteration

(Superman characters like Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Spiderman characters like Peter Parker, Otto Octavius, Doctor Doom, Green Goblin)

I decided to take this discovery and put it to good use in my classroom.  To teach alliteration to my third graders, I created a Who Am I? sort of game, giving clues about the comic book character.  The answer was always in the form of alliteration.

Both boys and girls enjoyed it.  My students began bringing in comic strips, newspaper headlines, and anything else they found that used alliteration.  I cleared a wall space and allowed them to post their alliteration findings.

The best part was their own discoveries after the lesson.  Not only did they notice alliteration everywhere, they began noticing the use of onomatopoeia (sound words like Bang! Crash!) and other literary devices used within the comic books.

As a teacher it pays to get to know your students.  Find out what they enjoy and use that information to guide your lessons.  Choose read-alouds, characters, and games that will motivate learning.  Believe me, it makes your job easier and much more enjoyable.

If you are interested in using comic books in the classroom, check out The Graphic Classroom at for reviews and discussions for teachers and librarians.  Here, Chris Wilson personally reads the comic books and rates them for age appropriateness.  He has also listed other articles that discuss the use of comic books in the classroom.


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