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A+SEL, Representation, Student Engagement

A Comic Challenge: Jade’s Guest Blog

A Comic Challenge: Jade’s Guest Blog

When I decided to write my very first fantasy comic book, I made a strict schedule for myself. I’d write for thirty minutes during recess at school, and I’d draw for another thirty minutes when I got home. I decided that I’d do that six days a week, and my comic book would be done within a month. Foolproof, right? Wrong!

A Comic Challenge: Jade’s Guest Blog

The first week went ok because I felt like a real author, writing every day! Plus I had tons of ideas. But by the second week I was stuck. My main characters, two blue dragons, were lost in an ancient volcano and I had no idea where to take my story next. Should they fly out? Should they make a friend down there? Should I just start over? I started to think maybe I wasn’t a real author after all. Maybe I just didn’t have the skills or talent to write an entire comic book.

When my Mom asked how my book was going, I sighed. “Bad,” I said. “My dragons are stuck in a volcano and I have nothing else to say.”

A Comic Challenge: Jade’s Guest Blog

She smiled and asked me to set a goal for the week. It had to be smaller than just “write a book.” I was frustrated, but I said I wanted to write one more chapter. Mom flung open the back door and told me to go play dragons with my little brother. I protested because I was trying to be a writer! I didn’t have time to play pretend! But she insisted, so I played dragons outside with my brother. We spun in circles and pretended to fly higher than planes, then swooped down and hid in secret caves by the ocean.

That night, Mom handed me some paper and told me to write about what happened to the dragons in the game. The next day, she had me skip writing completely and draw pictures of anything dragon-related that came to mind. By the end of the week, I’d played pretend, drew pictures, and watched two dragon movies. After each activity, Mom had me write about it. On the last day of the week, we gathered all of my reflections and pulled out the best parts, including the pictures! We rearranged and cut and pasted, but when we were finished, I had a whole second chapter. I was amazed!

“You just learned a process for writing a chapter,” my Mom said, grinning proudly.

Even though I loved reading comic books, writing one of my own was a totally new skill. I didn’t know that playing pretend and coloring could help me with my comic, but they did! Mom called it natural learning, and she said it happens all the time. It was still a lot of hard work, but learning like this was also really fun. It helped me see that learning is always happening, and now I know I can think outside the box or even learn something new while I’m not so focused on my goals. If I can learn a writing process by playing pretend with my little brother, I bet I can learn to do almost anything!

A Comic Challenge: Jade’s Guest Blog

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