Can Comics Make You Clever?

Can reading comics make you smarter? Author, Artist, and MacArthur ‘genius‘ Gene Luen Yang knows they can, and he’s just done a new video for to talk about it.

From Yang’s experience as an educator, he saw the benefits of kids in his classroom being able to control the rate of new information they were learning. While that could be said of learning from any book, comics do this in a totally different narrative way than traditional textbooks. For decades, it was assumed that the art in the comic only confirmed what the words were saying, but as comics evolved so did the complexity of narrative, oftentimes conveying ideas in a space between both words and pictures.

This is not a new cause for Yang to champion, he spoke with CBLDF’s own Betsy Gomez last year about taking his initiative Reading Without Walls from a limited engagement during his term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature to an ongoing annual program. Reading Without Walls is an educational challenge to increase empathy and literacy at the same time by asking students to read something outside of their comfort zone.

If you’re convinced and want to start teaching comics, check out our guide for American Born Chinese.

If you want to ingest information about The Boxer Rebellion at your own pace, check Boxers & Saints.

If you want to get started on your own Reading Without Walls Challenge, check out this great edition!

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