Super-Powered Word Study: Teaching With Comics

Recently, I was lucky enough to get my hands on this fantastic book, Super-Powered Word Study.

What I love about the book is its focus on research-based strategies. This is not a simple 'comics will make kids want to read' book. The authors James Bucky Carter and Erik A Evensen have created a systematic approach to using comics to teach students how to decode words based on their Latin roots.  Their materials and methods are based on research on how the brain learns. The comics aren't bad either...

The main characters of each short comic are named after a Latin root (prefix or suffix) and the stories are deliberately interlaced with context clues to help scaffold students' understanding of the roots. Activities include word sorting and scavenger hunts within the stories as well as a final piece requiring students to craft their own stories using the roots themselves.  Each comic spans a week and follows the natural progression of building understanding through sorting and categorizing words through the application stage at the end of the week where students get to show what they understand by using the words in a new way.  In addition, understanding word roots will aid students in understanding the meanings of new words of all kinds that they may come across in the future.

I gave a copy to the sixth grade teacher across the hall and she reported that a few students snuck it away from her desk to read!

The book includes a CD that contains interactive comic-building software and pdfs of comics.

You can listen to a free webinar with the authors here.

I have a free copy to give away to the commenter with the best story about why their students will benefit from learning through Super-Powered Word Study!

The comment with the most 'thumbs up' votes by Monday, March 14th will win the book!


  • I have been teaching for over five years now. When I first started teaching spelling was a challenge. After all is said, I know teaching word study is the best method. Having this book would assist me learning and teaching more effectively.

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