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A Chicago based company, Reading With Pictures, is looking to raise funds with their project to cast a larger role for comic books in the classroom. I have to be honest and say I’m not sure how I feel about this as it almost smacks of more dumbing down of the curriculum aimed at American kids. Ask any 8-12 year old about how they’re taught math these days for a good example. Personally, I’m a fan of teaching kids the old fashioned way, with an actual book…

From the press release:

Reading with Pictures, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, announced today the official launch of their fundraising campaign to create The Graphic Textbook. This groundbreaking project will enable educators to take comics beyond supplementary reading and into the core curricula.

The Graphic Textbook brings together some of the finest creative talents in the comics industry – including Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Janet Lee, Amy Reeder, Katie Cook and Roger Langridge – with the leading experts in visual literacy and comics-based curriculum – including Dr. Katie Monnin and Dr. James Bucky Carter – to create a gamechanging educational tool for the classroom and beyond that’s tied to a revolutionary impact study overseen by Dr. David Rapp of the Learning Sciences Department of Northwestern University.

Aimed at grades 3-6, The Graphic Textbook features a dozen short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) that address topics drawn from the list of Common Core Standards. The accompanying Teacher’s Guide will include Standards-correlated lesson plans customized to each story, research-based justifications for using comics in the classroom, a guide to establishing best classroom practices and a comprehensive listing of additional educational resources, both in print and online.

Josh Elder, President and Founder of Reading with Pictures, explains “This project has been years in the making, and it’s been developed with input from hundreds of educators, academics and students nationwide. With their help, we’re going to create a comic that teachers will actually want to use and a textbook that students will actually want to read. And we’ve done it while respecting our contributor’s rights and keeping our product price below the gong market rate. We know that there’s a need for this product, now we just need your help to prove it.”

The Graphic Textbook will be financed entirely through a Kickstarter campaign set to launch on April 13 and run through May 17. The finished product is set for a spring 2013 release in both print and digital formats.

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Founder/Editor-in-chief of The Gaming Gang website and host of The Gaming Gang Dispatch and other TGG media, Jeff tackles any and all sorts of games but has a special fondness for strategy, conflict sims, and roleplaying games. Plus, he's certainly never at a loss for an opinion...

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