Young kids study great people from world history in comics

I was at school today talking with one of my students. She is in grade 3.

She was reading a comic book, but upon closer inspection I noticed that the comics were about great people from history.

The book she was reading had a picture in the front page of people (in cartoon form) such as Gandhi, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, Einstien, Mozart, Beethoven and many others that I can’t remember (and their names were only written in Chinese so I wasn’t sure who some of them were from their pictures). It gave a breakdown of who these people were, where they were from and what accomplishments they made. This book was an index of sort to introduce a series of books, each based on one person from the index book.

Amazing! She was really into it. From my conversations with her in my limited Chinese she had a pretty good grasp on some of these great figures.

What a great idea presenting history to children in a comic book.

A few years ago I also saw some of my young students reading about Confucious, Lao Tze, Li Po, and several other historical figures from China also in comic book form.

Has anyone seen these books? What are your thoughts about it?

It made me happy to actually see something from the Taiwanese education system that they deserve a pat on the back for.

I’ll try to get the book from her and post some of the images.

Using graphic novels to help engage reluctant readers is nothing particularly new. I remember when I was younger the public library had a whole series of classic children’s books like Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables, and Treasure Island in a comic-book format. It opened them up to stories that they would have otherwise shunned for their length and difficult language. This format is particularly good for those students who do not have good abilities to visualize text.

The massive new Eslite near the City Hall MRT station has the history of Taiwan in a series of comic books (English and Chinese). I only had a flick through but they actually seemed quite well done.

I have offered students the opportunity to read graphic novels or comic books in order to stimulate them to READ!

At times I have had a difficult time finding low level books with age-appropriate subject matter for the lower level readers…and the comic book option was fantastic.

An added benefit is that the lower level students felt a bit rebellious and cool while completing assignments! :sunglasses: They wanted to read!

Comics are great. I’ve seen most of the comic books mentioned I think. They really do encourage reading, and learning overall.

I’d like to do something with that format. Can anyone put me in touch with a comic book artist?