Meeting aliens, superheros and evil twins at the East Middle School Comic Con helps students develop writing skills, while exercising their imaginations and having fun.
The event showcased students’ ability to write and draw, developing stories, characters, and illustrating them. “We have it to celebrate the publishing phase of the writing process,” said Brooke Nicoletti, an eighth-grade English language arts teacher. “It’s a fun way to get students engaged.”
First, the students wrote a story, and then translated into comic form. They either used hand drawn images or a computer application. The comic con was a showcase held in the middle school auditorium, which also featured a guest workshop by the Joplin High School Cartoonists Club.
“Writing is vulnerable because it’s a reflection of us,” Nicoletti said. “To have a kid understand that we’re writing for a purpose, for an audience, helps them have more ownership of what they produce.”
Comic Con usually showcases science fiction and fantasy media. For that reason, students were asked to make their stories about superheroes.
“Superheroes have a way of being relatable to middle-schoolers because there’s this idea that there’s a big guy out there that can help you and save you,” said Nicoletti. “When you’re in middle school and going through a lot of changes, it’s nice to have that idea that maybe there’s someone out there who can rescue us.”