Common Core + Comics: How Doodling a Dead Dog Ballot Selfie Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Writing

Here’s a look at how the Common Core‘s “College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing” factor into a recent LIVE FREE AND DRAW comics feature:

2015-CommonCore-AnchorStandards+DeadDog-www_MarekBennett_com

DOWNLOAD: 2-page printable PDF of this chart >> | ALSO: Original LF&D Comic >>

Perhaps tying in all those anchor standards makes for a rather busy chart, but that’s kind of the point we’ve made elsewhere: Drawing COMICS is a WORKOUT for your whole brain, and as an activity it integrates several vital aspects of human communication and learning.

Q&As about the above graphic:


Q) So, did you set out to draw a comic that addressed all the anchor standards…?

A) No, of course not.  But we DID set out to draw a comic that COMMUNICATED something to readers, and seemingly by coincidence, we ended up having to address the anchor standards in order to articulate ourselves fully and coherently.  Hmmm… Maybe that’s why Common Core promulgates those particular anchor standards?

Q) Was it hard to meet all those standards?

A) Well, in a way, yes — because drawing that comic required a lot of thought, research, and revision (all in a 24 hour period, mind you).  And in a way, no, not at all — because the act of creating the comic was so fun and engaging, we never considered NOT drawing it!

Q) So, whenever I draw a comic, I’m doing ALL that stuff?

Not necessarily.  It’s important to note that no comics project (including the above example) addresses every anchor standard equally.  (Usually, in the comics classroom, it’s a matter of focusing on one or two relevant standards that we want to emphasize with a specific project.)  But we would propose that any comics project that is MEANINGFUL to its creator(s) and readers alike must, by definition, address some (or even most) of these anchor standards.  NOT because they’re Common Core standards, but because they’re vital skills if you want to communicate your message convincingly/interestingly/clearly/precisely/intelligently.

So the next time you want a super-charged (& standards-based) authentic activity… break out the ink and primary sources and draw some comics!

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