As an ESL teacher, I get to work with some of my students several years in a row. Since I often co-teach in the grade level classrooms, I have the chance to continue seeing students even after they move out of the ESL program. The best part of this is watching them grow into confident learners and grow into their unique personalities. This year one boy has really surprised us as he has started to shine as an artist. He has become an active participant in class. And he has revealed a great sense of humor. Who knew? He used to be so quiet!
We recently did some comic strip writing in his class. He was inspired to create a comic of his own. He was so proud of it, he wrote about it on his blog. Today we did another mini-lesson, this time based on single-picture cartoons. The class looked at the caption-less pictures and brainstormed ideas. It was kind of like pulling teeth at first. Most didn’t really get the example we used, and they were having a hard time making connections. Then they all burst out laughing when a picture reminded them of a character from The Great Gilly Hopkins which they just finished reading. That got the ball rolling.
So the next picture is like this: there are penguins standing on ice floes. One is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. The boy I mentioned above raised his hand and delivered his one-liner: “Why is the sand so hard?” The class cracked up.
After school, he brought another cartoon- his own original drawing- to our blogging club to write about. He said, “You get it? Like lip balm?”