Professional Workshops

Photo by Michael Gianfrancesco

Photo by Michael Gianfrancesco


Rhode Island College, Finding Solace in Comics: Graphic Novels that Support Social Emotional Learning with Michael Gianfrancesco, English Teacher, North Providence High School, March 2019.

Many modern graphic novels offer stories that both illustrate the internal pain and document the healing processes of their creators. These texts can be utilized in our classrooms as a catalyst which brings about empathy as well as spur social emotional learning.

My drawing portion of this workshop encouraged teachers to be comfortable using drawing and the production of comics as a component of their curriculum.

Photo by Susanne Reece.

Photo by Susanne Reece.

Comics in Education 90 Minute Workshop at the Comics and Medicine Conference at the Center of Cartoon Studies, August 2018. 

The goal of this workshop was to demonstrate ways that contemporary educators are using cartooning as a teaching skill, note-taking technique, or contemplative practice. We explored drawing as an effective way to connect with students from all levels and backgrounds and can make learning accessible and fun. Workshop participants learned accessible sketching techniques that stimulated freethinking and sparked inspiration. Through slideshows and comics readings, participants were exposed to the work of educators/artists who use drawing and cartooning as part of their teaching practice. We did a lot of fun drawings and felt relaxed afterwards!

Visual notes from Sandra Bartholomew at the Center of Cartoon Studies.

Visual notes from Sandra Bartholomew at the Center of Cartoon Studies.

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Stanford University Residence Staff Workshop, April 2018

Cara Bean led workshops to encourage participants to apply drawing techniques to their specific expertise. No art experience was necessary. Through slideshows and comics readings, participants were be exposed to the work of artists who use simple drawing to interpret complex information. This workshop was an opportunity to explore how to interpret visual information in textbooks, journal articles, slide presentations, websites, and classroom whiteboards, but also to create drawings. Drawing is a powerful tool for thinking and communicating, regardless of the discipline. We were able to experience how drawing can be a processing skill and a gateway to creating insightful graphic metaphors.

Therapy dog, Zoe joins the workshop!

Therapy dog, Zoe joins the workshop!

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Comics in the Classroom Workshop, Massachusetts Teachers Association, July 2018

Cartooning for Educators Workshop, Massachusetts Teachers Association, August 2017

This workshop was designed to encourage Massachusetts educators to become creative with cartooning as a teaching skill.  We explore option for incorporating comics and drawing into pedagogy.