Inferring With Comics

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Literacy was a bit funny this week – well, actually it was A LOT funny in some cases! Especially when we had the required amount of prior knowledge!

Over the last few weeks, we have been learning about what good readers do. Good readers make connections and predictions. They visualize and ask questions. Good readers infer meaning and activate prior knowledge. That’s actually where the comics came in – while we were discussing inferring and the need to do so while we read texts. Reading (and understanding) humour in a comic strip requires the student to create meaning from the drawing and dialogue, as well as pull on prior knowledge to make sense of the comic.

Creating that meaning and having that prior knowledge meant that some comics were funny for some and confusing for others. For example, I do not ‘get’ the same jokes that the students do. This is probably because my TV-based prior knowledge dates to the 80s and 90s whereas theirs is a bit more current!

Our reflection discussion helped us to think about what we should do if we can’t infer meaning. I asked them “What if you don’t understand what you’re reading? What can you do?”. They came up with some great strategies, including (1) go back and read over what you just read, (2) ask someone to help you understand it, (3) think about whether or not the book is too hard for you and (4) start the chapter (book) over.

Our next steps will be to put some of those strategies into practice.

And now, for you a little bit of inferring. Here’s a teacher comic to enjoy (just a little prior knowledge needed).

Blog - Inferring with Comics

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