Since it’s Father’s Day, in honor of all the heroic dads out there, we are talking about comic books! Many parents like to read them with their kiddos and a variety of language skills can be practiced while perusing comics. For some of the tasks below, reading the story isn’t even necessary!
If you are not reading the story and simply perusing the pictures, try asking some of our simple questions. If you and your kiddo are reading the story, our complex questions will delve more into their comprehension of the plot. Either way, when posing our suggested questions, first see if your child can answer. If they are having difficulty, try repeating the question again to let them process what is being asked. If this is not enough support, you can provide 2-3 verbal choices. If they still need assistance, you can provide a visual cue by pointing towards the picture answer on the page. Here are some suggested questions:
Where are they?
Who is that?
Where is ___________? (Insert character or any vocabulary word)
What is _________ doing? (Insert character name)
Who is wearing a purple cape? (Or any other color combined with item of clothing)
What is the story mostly about?
Who is the main character?
Where does the story take place?/What is the setting?
Who is the villain?
What is the problem or conflict in the story?
What is the solution to the problem?
What three words can describe the hero?
What three words can describe the villain?
What will happen next? Why?
How does ____________ feel here? How can you tell? (Insert character name)
What do you like about the story?
What do you dislike about the story?
Just looking at the pictures can be fun! If your kiddo is not into reading the story, simply exploring the illustrations is fine! You can still test their receptive language skills by asking them to point to different items or characters. Based on your child’s language level, you can provide one-step or multi-step directives. Here are some examples of both:
Find someone with a blue cape.
Turn the page.
First point to Superman, and then point to Lois Lane.
Before you close the book, find Thor.
Comics have many illustrations on a page. Children often require practice listening to complex sentences and ensuring they comprehend all the parts presented. Select one picture and describe it. Your child will have to scan the page to find the correct one that has all the components mentioned. (i.e. This picture has a woman falling off a building and Superman is about to catch her.)
Many children with ASD have difficulty identifying the emotions of others. Illustrators draw such vivid pictures in comics and this creates a great opportunity to discuss the features of faces portraying different feelings. Here are some sample discussion questions:
Who looks angry?
How do we know ______ is angry?
Superman has red eyes. Do real people get red eyes when they are mad?
How do you know this character is scared?
What else tells us that someone is sad?
What are your favorite comics to read with kiddos? Comment below!