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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Incredible Plate Tectonics Comic, The

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Author/Publisher/Website: Lee, K.K.M.; Wallenta, A.
Copyright: 2014
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Feb/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781593275495
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 8-10
(View recommended grades and subjects) Science

Resource Description

This short comic book tells the story of Geo who is on his way to write an Earth Science test and as he reviews the subject in his mind, the story makes parallels between elements of plate tectonics and his everyday actions. The information provided in the comic focuses mostly on plate tectonics but also includes information on other processes, such as volcanoes and rock formation. The comic book-style illustrations help reinforce the concepts introduced, and additional, more detailed information is provided at the end of the book in a text-based section. Useful as an introduction to earthquakes and plate tectonics, especially for visual learners.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Creative Thinking
Comments:
This graphic-novel style comic supports junior Earth Science curriculum. There is also some mention of Physics, covering energy, waves, and refraction. It could be used as review for senior Earth Science or Geology courses.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Is the resource engaging?
Extensively
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Moderately
Can the content be differentiated?
Not at all or slightly
Can reading level be adjusted?
Not at all or slightly
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to male students?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to female students?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The illustrations and analogies are at grade level, colourful, and easy to understand. Students would need to be familiar with how to read a comic strip, and the language and content are not easily adjusted for students reading below grade level or ELL students. Although the book is not Canadian, all illustrations and units are given in metric.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Extensively
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
Moderately
Comments:
The book follows the story of a young man on his way to write an Earth Science test. The story flips between thoughts and actions, drawing parallels between actual details of plate tectonics and his everyday actions. This is useful for making analogies, but some students may struggle to follow the overall train of thought. The descriptions are accurate and the illustrations and analogies are chosen to reinforce the concepts introduced throughout the comic.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Is the instructional design effective and appropriate for the intended audience?
Extensively
Is the resource suitable for a wide range of learning and teaching styles?
Moderately
Are the instructional elements consistent with the purpose of the resource?
Extensively
Are the concepts clearly explained?
Extensively
Does the resource provide multiple strategies to help learners construct meaning?
Extensively
Does the resource support the transfer of learning to personal or applied contexts?
Extensively
Comments:
The information covered moves from general concepts (layers of the Earth) to the theory of plate tectonics and finally into the details of each type of plate boundary. Vocabulary is introduced and some is reinforced with illustrations where possible, however, students may need additional information about some terms or concepts. The end of the book includes a more text-based section that covers the same ideas and goes into greater detail in some areas, such as seismic wave propagation.

PRINT CLASSROOM

Does the reference cover topics with sufficient depth for the intended audience?
Extensively
Are the subject area list and/or subtopics extensive?
Extensively
Do the external links contribute to the learning experience
Moderately
Does the resource broaden students’ experiences and understandings?
Extensively
Does the resource make effective use of visual elements?
Extensively
Are the images compelling?
Extensively
Descriptors:
Student research tools
Secondary reference material such as summaries or reviews of research
Comments:
This resource focuses primarily on plate tectonics, but also highlights connections to other geologic processes including volcanoes and rock formation. There is a brief Table of Contents and a short Index. The activities included on the websites for schoolyard geology and creating buildings to withstand earthquakes are engaging and could be used as extensions. All information for these two sites could be accessed on the web or downloaded for use (PDF, PowerPoint, Word). At the time of this review the websites for tsunami models (buffalo.edu) and volcano crisis simulator (dartmouth.edu) had some aspects that were unavailable or defunct.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
The follow-up information at the end of the book, which reads like a small textbook chapter, was written by the author, Dr. Kanani K.M. Lee, a professor of Geology and Geophysics. The illustrator, Adam Wallenta, has worked for Marvel Comics and DC Entertainment, and the images he has created are thus current, and likely to appeal to today's youth. If the book is purchased through the publisher's website at www.nostarch.com/tectonicscomic, every print copy of the book comes with a free eBook (PDF), or it can be purchased as an eBook alone.

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
This short comic could be used as an initial introduction to earthquakes. Images from the book could be a great accompaniment to lessons, including images of plate boundaries and seismic waves. Students who are more visual learners may find this medium more engaging than a traditional text or notes. Additional suggestions for classroom activities are included as website links at the end of the book.
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