5 Micro Graphic Novel Reviews to Kickstart Your 2018

  By Erik Kallenborn So, I’ve been on a quest to write 365 blog reviews/reflections in 365 days. As I write this, I am on day 119, and I have not missed a day yet! If you want to follow and read along, you can find my ramblings at www.theothercomicbookteacher.com. I’m really excited that I […]

12 Teachable Graphic Novels You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of

By Michael Gianfrancesco @tryngteacher Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve watched as a renaissance has taken place in the graphic novel medium. Educators and institutions have realized that these books can be a valuable resource for inroads to skills based lesson planning, and as a result graphic novels have found their way into […]

Review of Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

Written By: Patricia C McKissack and Frederick L McKissack Jr. Illustrated by: Randy Duburke REVIEW Each era of American history has a distinct color and feel to it – from the black and white clad puritans, to the green camo of the boys in World War II, to the tie-died hippies marching for change. In […]

Solution Squad Review

  By Hannah Jorgensen REVIEW As I read Solution Squad, I had a vivid flashback to little 5th grade Hannah sitting in a classroom learning math. I can clearly remember learning about prime numbers and factors out of the workbooks that we always had to use and which I loathed with all of my small […]

PCC Celebrates a Successful Round of Summer 2017 Workshops (Part 2)

Between June and August of 2017, PCC conducted over 100 hours of programming at 24 different libraries, schools and community centers across the Front Range. Below are some of our favorite highlights (part 2) from our summer 2017 workshops. A tremendous thank you to the many students, PCC teachers, and sites that made these workshops […]

PCC Celebrates a Successful Round of Summer 2017 Workshops! (Part 1)

This past summer, Pop Culture Classroom was hard at work developing and running pop-culture based workshops for diverse sites and students all throughout Colorado! These workshops are all part of PCC’s educational mission to inspire, engage and ignite students’ love of learning using the tools of pop culture – including comics, board games, cosplay and […]

Webcomics for the Classroom: Part 2 (Web Comic Hosting Sites)

For all but the most financially sound school districts, it can be a struggle to convince penny-pinching department chairs to make a heavy investment in a hard copy set of graphic novels or student-wide Comixology access. Luckily, the internet can still surprise with its infinite array of resources of such high quality that they have […]

Review of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds

  By Erik Kallenborn For the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the country, speaking about the benefits of comics and graphic novels in the classroom, helping many teachers get started with the medium in their own classrooms along the way. There are many roads that led to where the Comics Education […]

Denver Comic Con Education Wrap-Up (Part 2)

Educator’s Day 2017 Offers Exciting Opportunities for Teachers Over the past four years, Educator’s Day has given over 1,000 teachers, librarians, administrators and other educators the opportunity to receive a free Friday pass to Denver Comic Con. The goal of Educator’s Day is to help these educators incorporate the power of pop culture in a […]

Denver Comic Con 2017 Education Wrap-Up! (Part 1)

At this year’s Denver Comic Con, Pop Culture Classroom celebrated diversity, fun and education through a variety of exciting and unique programming. Our guests, volunteers, students, teachers and programmers created and participated in a fantastic line up of education-focused activities and programs all throughout the weekend. Here are some of our favorite highlights from the […]

American Born Chinese, Review

  By Michael Gianfrancesco   REVIEW The brainchild and signature book of author/artist Gene Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the graphic novel American Born Chinese has won its share of awards. For students and educators alike, the novel offers a wonderful story that touches on many common themes, motifs and content areas […]

Comics and Reluctant Learners: Dispelling the Myths

  By Michael Gianfrancesco   I have been doing this whole “teaching with comics” thing for nearly 15 years and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with teachers all over the country. During panels and workshops, I find that I often hear (or overhear) a specific remark: “I love these books. […]

Review of Sisters

  By Ronell Whitaker Written & Art by Raina Telgemeier Appropriate for grades: 2nd grade and up   Review When I first read Raina Telgemeier’s 2010 graphic novel Smile, I had trouble relating. As a high school teacher, I couldn’t shake the fact that I was not the intended audience. “This is kids’ stuff,” I […]

Up, Up and Away: Innovative Comics Leap Across Content Areas

At Pop Culture Classroom, one of our primary missions is to show that comics and graphic novels are more than superheroes in tights and capes. We believe comics transcend their typical associations as “lowbrow” or “simplistic” texts, offering educators new and unexpected ways to engage students in difficult subjects and content areas. Whether you’re looking […]

DCC’17 PSA: Tips for Speed Pass Holders

It’s almost con time! The following information provides some helpful guidance to make your con experience more enjoyable. Where do I go when I arrive? Speed Pass holders are permitted first entry to the Convention Center, starting at 9:00 a.m. This allows you entrance to the building, and first entry to the show floor once […]

Pride of Baghdad Review

By Michael Gianfrancesco Brian K. Vaughan’s and Niko Henrichon’s 2006 masterpiece Pride of Baghdad combines fact and fiction in a way that not only creates an impactful and poignant story, but also makes serious and complex themes accessible to just about any reader. This text has been in my regular classroom rotation for years and […]

Name the Denver Comic Con Beer!

The annual “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest starts today! This is the 6th year Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer just for the con. The 2017 DCC beer is a Bohemian-style Pilsner. It’s delicate and well-balanced, light yet complex. Saaz hops, a classic pilsner ingredient, impart a pleasant, earthy aroma while giving […]

Pop Culture Classroom’s Director of Education is speaking at TEDxCU

Pop Culture Classroom’s Director of Education, Illya Kowalchuk, M. Ed., is speaking at TEDxCU! As part of the event, Mr. Kowalchuk will give a must-see talk about PCC’s innovative program LEAD With Comics, a unique project that educates inmates at jails and prisons across Colorado to learn how to read and draw with the help […]

The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation

  Written by Johnathon Hennessey Art by Aaron McConnell Appropriate for Grades: Middle School and up REVIEW In interesting times such as these, the laws and traditions of the United States are finding themselves hotly debated on a daily basis. Coming of age in the 21st Century means that your students’ social feeds are filling […]

Finding Inspiration: Comics as a Pathway to Reading

By Michael Gianfrancesco, Comics Education Outreach “Comics are a gateway drug to literacy.” —Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, A Survivor’s Tale When I first began teaching comics in the classroom over a dozen years ago, one of the most dependable brick walls that I could rely on encountering was the dreaded question, “How […]