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Comics for Classrooms: Grades K-5

Title

Diverse Recommendations

Princeless: Save Yourself

Princess Adrienne is no hero’s fair maiden, and she is not afraid to say so! She’s the seventh daughter whom her father, the king, has stranded in a tower. Prince after prince has tried to rescue Adrienne, and after Prince Wilcome’s failed attempt, she decides to save herself.

Grades 4-7

Witch Boy

In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. 

Grades 3-7

El Deafo

Until the age of four CeCe was pretty much indistinguishable from any other kid. But a sudden bout with meningitis and something changed for CeCe. All at once her hearing was gone. After some experimentation she was fitted with a Sonic Ear (a device that enabled her to hear her teacher’s voice) and started attending classes with other kids like herself.  When faced with problems she reverts to her pretend superhero self, El Deafo. 

Grades 4-7

Princess Princess Ever After

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person and try to figure out what happily ever after really means -- and how they can find it with each other.  

Grades 3-5

Phoebe and Her Unicorn: The Magic Storm

Phoebe and her unicorn, Marigold solve a mystery—the town’s power has gone out and the ambient magic that Marigold usually taps into has disappeared as well, leaving the unicorn visible to ordinary people. 

Grades 3-7

Roller Girl

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.

Grades 4-8

Lesson Plan: El Deafo

Resource: El Deafo by Cece Bell

Grades: 4-7

Areas: Friendship, Empathy, Critical Thinking

Summary: Until the age of four CeCe was pretty much indistinguishable from any other kid. But a sudden bout with meningitis and something changed for CeCe. All at once her hearing was gone. After some experimentation she was fitted with a Sonic Ear (a device that enabled her to hear her teacher’s voice) and started attending classes with other kids like herself. 

 Lesson:

  • Discuss in what ways Cece’s childhood is like yours? How is it different?
  • Discuss and evaluate why Cece is embarrassed about her hearing loss? What other things might people be embarrassed about? What might they be able to do about it?
  • Evaluate and discuss the ways El Deafo helps Cece.
  • Why is it sometimes easier for Cece to be alone than deal and interact with the kids in her neighborhood?
  • Create a working definition of “hero.” Discuss and analyze how Cece and her alter ego El Deafo do or do not fit the class definition.
  • On page 23, Ms. Bell writes, “Emma and I have always looked different from each other, but in ways that didn’t matter.” Discuss the ways looking different doesn’t matter. Discuss the ways looking different does matter. Discuss why that is.

Lesson Plan: Captain Underpants

Resource: The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Ages: 6-10

Areas: English, Computers, Art

Summary: George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their school - and now they're about to bring him to life! MEET CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS! HIS TRUE IDENTITY IS SO SECRET, EVEN HE DOESN'T KNOW WHO HE IS! FIGHTING FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND ALL THINGS PRE-SHRUNK AND COTTONY! 

Lesson: 

  • Imagine that you could hypnotize your teacher. Write a story that describes what might happen!
  • Design an online product page to sell the 3-D Hypno Ring.
  • Create a newspaper article that reports on the first appearance of Captain Underpants in the city.
  • Can you find any examples of onomatopoeia in the book?
  • Create the instruction manual for the 3-D Hypno Ring.
  • Some of the other books in the series have alliteration in their title. Can you come up with an alliterative title for a new Captain Underpants book?
  • Use relevant software to create a poster, animation or website to promote this series of books.

Lesson Aids