By Victoria Garcia
Turning your children into readers is a difficult task. As much of a reader I am now, I was not when I was in elementary school—if anything I was an anti-reader. What kid wants to look at words when they can be watching TV?
Comics are a good way to introduce your child to reading: they’re like TV but with captions. Comics are simply easier for a child to read due to the brilliance of colors and shapes, and easier for a child to follow along with as the story is drawn before their eyes.
While many believe that comics are not “real” books, comics are actually just as entertaining and educational as traditional books. This article will show how comics are an easy (and helpful) way to get your kids to read! Here are four remarkable ways comics help children with reading and writing.
Table of Contents
How Comics Help Children with Reading and Writing
1. Comics improve children’s imagination and help them develop story concepts
Comic books are a good way to spark your child’s imagination as they visualize the actions of the characters. Just like watching TV, but in your head! Many children struggle to read books without pictures because they cannot visualize the story in their minds. Comic books are a great step to teach children to do this, which will help them move on to reading books without the help of pictures.
Children can also benefit from creating their own comics. Writing comics is more than just doodling; it’s a form of art and literacy and can help children’s learning. Writing comics teaches children fine motor skills as they learn to draw characters and settings by forming and manipulating shapes. Not only that, but writing comics can also teach story development and plot building as children create their own stories.
2. Comics help children develop memory retention, build vocabulary, and form sentences
Reading comics helps children, including language learners, develop memory retention, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Children improve their memory by differentiating characters, keeping track of important plot points, and recognizing recurring images. Reading comics also helps children to learn new phrases and words through context clues. As they read and discover unfamiliar words, the illustrations help children uncover the meaning of these new words.
In addition, because most of the writing in comics is dialogue, it provides young readers with an example of how to form sentences and familiarizes them with the basic parts of a sentence as it is acted out in the illustrations. Comics also introduce children to onomatopoeia due to the expressiveness of comics and use of speech bubbles that depict action and sound.
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3. Comics aid children with speech and reading skills
Comics can also be used to introduce splitting and joining speech sounds, which improves children’s speech skills by training their minds and tongues. This will make your child a strong speaker. According to a study by Our Kids, comic books include more higher-order words found in senior secondary school and college and university placements tests than other reading alternatives. Children will learn new and complex words and will incorporate them into their speaking and writing.
Reading and writing comics is also a great way to introduce reading to children with learning disabilities such as ADHD and dyslexia. Many children with learning disabilities are often misunderstood for their learning struggles, and end up believing they are simply not able to read. The pictures in a comic book are easier for their minds to follow and make the story easier to visualize. While some readers can visualize the story in their minds with imagination alone, others are not able to do so. This is normal: people’s minds learn differently, which is why comic books are a great tool for children who struggle with reading.
4. Comics can introduce children to classic books
Nowadays you can find your favorite books, even classics, as comic books! Graphic novels adaptations of classic books have become a rage in the book world. Pride and Prejudice, American Born Chinese, The Scarlet Letter, and many of Shakespeare’s popular plays have been converted into graphic novels. Children of all ages can now enjoy the classics in a fun, new way. This is highly encouraged because it introduces children to classic books before they encounter them in school, giving them a chance to find them interesting before they dismiss them as boring.
I even have a couple of graphic novels of my favorite YA series, like Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan and the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu.
As an avid reader, I have to remind myself that at one time I didn’t like reading. I was only introduced to a certain type of book, which made me regret reading as a whole until I found what was good for me. If complicated word books might be making your child snore and reject reading, introduce them to comic books and graphic novels. Comic books can be your child’s doorway to the book world!
Comic books are valid works of literature. Comics can help children with reading and writing and be their first introduction to the world of books. Introduce children to books that they will enjoy, including comics. Maybe one day your child will write their own comic book!