Comic books in the classroom
In most high school classrooms, if a student was reading a comic book, it would be taken away. But in Tim Smyth’s social studies class at Wissahickon High School, the walls are covered with comics, bookshelves are filled with comics, graphic novels, and figurines and toys, and even Smyth’s tie features Spider-Man.
Educators across Pennsylvania find many different ways to reach and connect with their students. Smyth uses his passion for comics to help his students at the Montgomery County school learn about important figures and events in history.
“I decided to start using comic books in the classroom because I realized it really resonated with my students,” Smyth said. “One student, through Miles Morales, who is an African-American Spiderman, now saw himself in a superhero. He wasn’t impressed that we had an African-American president, but that Spider-Man is black.”
Comics books also have a personal connection for Smyth.
“My son was termed a reluctant reader early on,” Smyth said. “He was engaged and learned how to read through comic books, and it’s been a very powerful experience for him.”