As we can see in the example above from Hannah, such a piece doesn't take a long time to create and it can capture some of the essential learnings and enduring understandings that are takeaways from the unit. Hannah's example deals with Karel Capek's War with the Newts, a science fiction novel written in the 1930s that satirizes the rise of Fascism, Nazism, as well as racism in America. In the story, a race of sentient newts is discovered, and through a series of circumstances paralleling the events following the end of WW1, the Newts eventually rise to a position of power.
A great pre-reading strategy is to give students a piece of visual brainstorming like this and to ask them what they think the novel will be about. This can be done in combination with showing them the short video clip below. The result is that students are required to activate their prior knowledge and make predictions prior to reading, which are both excellent strategies to better ensure that they eventually grasp the enduring understandings of the unit.
Try it with your students and let me know how it goes!
- Visual Brainstorming and Hamlet, or How the Key to the Play Is Its Very First Line
- Comics in Education Presents: Shakespeare's Career as a Playwright
- Show Me What You're Thinking... Okay. Done.
- Hey Comics in Education...Can You Visually Brainstorm Some Poetry? You Bet We Can!
- This is Why We Should Teach Kids to Cross Out and Not Erase
- A Visual Annotation of Sylvia Plath's "Morning Song"
- Brainstorming Visual Media, Part 1
- Visual Brainstorming Series: Names and Naming in Jekyll and Hyde
- Visual Brainstorming and Othello, or Are Iago and the Joker really all that alike?