Welcome to Superheroes in the Classroom, where health education, language literacy, art, technology and teamwork all come together!
Eric Paul Meredith, a leader in health education and youth development, has teamed up with the Comic Book Project to offer middle school students an innovative way to improve their language and health literacy and develop skills that are aligned with Common Core and National Health Education Standards.
The Comic Book Project (CBP) is a world-renowned literacy initiative that engages young people in the process of planning, writing, designing and publishing original comic books. The CBP engages children in a creative process leading to academic reinforcement, social awareness, and character development, then publishes and distributes their work for other children to use as learning and motivational tools. The project puts the creative control in children’s hands, then provides them with tangible evidence of their progress. By engaging young people in the creative process of brainstorming, sketching, plotting, designing, and finalizing original comic books, the CBP enables students to become content creators, rather than mere information receivers.
Superheroes in the Classroom builds on the success of the 15 year old literacy initiative by integrating health, connected learning theory and technology into the design of each comic. Youth will learn how to navigate the internet, research health topics and understand the credibility of information. Connected learning seeks to uncover the kinds of social relationships, experiences, and access to knowledge and communities that young people need to have in order to thrive in an era where these forms of information and social connection are very abundant. Using Google Education’s collaborative tools, a team of teachers, students, health experts and comic book professionals will be able to discuss ideas, share feedback and work together to produce fun and engaging comics that make complex health information easy to understand for youth.
In culturally and linguistically diverse settings, educators of English Language Learners (ELLs) can utilize this curriculum to increase engagement and scaffold learning for language development. The curriculum enables students to practice their English language skills across all modalities by reading and creating visual narratives and also invites bilingual authorship in their native/home language if desired.
Superheroes in the Classroom gives educators tremendous opportunities to achieve the broader spirit of the Common Core. This innovative project asks young people to investigate a health issue of concern, develop an argument around it, read more widely and create something that will circulate in the community that they will co-author and take responsibility for.