The Beginning

On September 3, 2019, I began my internship at ACH Clear Pathways. Though I was a little bit nervous driving to the site on my first day, by the time that I arrived and saw the kids’ excitement, I knew that I was in store for a great time!

Throughout the first week, the kids worked on a project that contained elements of Asian culture. I mainly worked with the intermediate boys’ age group, which consisted of grades 4-5. Their first task this semester was to create a colorful paper Chinese dragon. Prior to beginning the assignment, they were told the dragon’s significance in Chinese culture. When the explanation was finished, the kids went to work on coloring the dragon’s face and tail. Andre–the boys’ counselor–and I helped them fold the paper for the dragon’s body. The boys finished by stapling the faces and tails that they colored onto the body.

During the second week, the boys worked on creating creative comic book panels, which were to be showcased for their final portfolios. They were tasked with first coming up with a written story for their comic and then drawing what they wrote onto their comic panels. After they were done with the written portion of the assignment, I worked with them individually on revising their story to better fit onto the panels. I have to say, the boys really blew my expectations out of the water with some of the ideas that they came up with! One boy, for instance, wrote a story that centered around a homeless man who came into fame and fortune and eventually found God. Another came up with a new superhero who received his powers from an experiment gone wrong in his school. Though I didn’t get the chance to see their final work, I’m excited to see how their stories ended up turning out when I return next Tuesday!

All-in-all, though it’s been chaotic at times, I’ve had a great time getting to know the kids these first few weeks and I am looking forward to helping them grow as writers as the year progresses!
-Darren

One Reply to “The Beginning”

  1. The fact that the students are interested in comics strikes me as an excellent opportunity for you to teach them a bit about storytelling/narrative. Have you read “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud? It might be worth reading to see how you can integrate it into your tutoring (or perhaps how it might develop into a final project for the student showcase!). I’m excited to hear more about your work, Darren!

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