Comic Challenge

Garfield, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Family Circle, and Dilbert just to name a few. Can you guess what this post is about? If you guessed comics then you are a fan just like me. I wanted to share another way to use printed materials in the speech therapy room. This post goes along with a previous post titled “Newspapers, Magazines, and Menus, OH MY!”. The materials for the Comic Challenge can be easily found in the Sunday newspaper or weekly pages.

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After we are finished with the newspaper, I get out my scissors and start chopping away the pages. I look for comics that can address articulation, expressive language, and pragmatic language goals. Next I cut out the comics I want to use and cut them again into individual scenes. I glue the comic scenes to paper so they last longer.

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To help me remember the order of the comic strip scenes I put a small dot on the back of each section. One dot on the first one, two dots on the second one, and so on. If I use the Comic Challenge in groups the students can check the dots to see if they are correct. The final step is to ,of course, laminate the pieces for durability.

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Some of the ways I have used the Comic Challenge to address speech/language goals are listed below.

1: Articulation: If you find a comic strip that has a high occurrence of a target sound, it can be used to address reading and carryover goals. Have the student retell the comic strip making sure they use the correct sounds.

2: Sequencing Skills: Have the students use the images and dialogue to put the panel in the correct order.

3: Context Clues: The students will need to use context clues to determine the order of the panels.

4: Expressive Language Skills: After the panels are in order have the student retell the comic strip to you.

5: Inferencing Skills: You can talk about what happened before the scene and after the scene as well. The students will need to sharpen their inferencing skills to help them determine what the scene is about.

6: Figurative Language/Word Play: Comic strips add humor to their scenes by adding a variety of figurative language. Be on the look out for opportunities to address this area that many children struggle to understand.

7: Social Language Skills: Use the comical scene to address friendship and appropriate behaviors in public. Sometimes you can find good examples of behaviors that are not acceptable which can lead to a good discussions about that topic.

I hope this post opens your eyes to looking at comics in a different way. See if your students can accept the COMIC CHALLENGE!

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