Melinda K Shores

Melinda K Shores

Visual Arts
Northwest Region
,
479-285-0574
[email protected]


As an educator and artist, my goal is to spark inspiration with activities that have real-world applications. Our world is becoming increasingly visual and visual media has reached every part of our lives. As a result, visual storytelling is experiencing an upward trend in popularity. Comics have come to encompass many different subjects and genres. There is increasing opportunity to incorporate these materials into educational settings. From advanced students to students with disabilities, ELL, and reluctant readers, comics are a great way to connect with students.

In my residency, I want to engage students' curiosity. Displaying comic strips for students to read immediately gets a connection with them. Then I can switch it up and start displaying thing like LEGO or IKEA instructions, illuminated manuscripts, Greek urns, and hieroglyphics with the label, “sequential art.” The students start to ask the questions and I have to opportunity to explain what “sequential” means and introduce them to the history of the very first “comics,” which date back to ancient times. Students have the opportunity to make their own comic booklet and can draw their own scenes based on a written narrative. This activity incorporates critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, writing, and collaboration in one fun activity.

For educators, I have the ability to do research and make comic recommendations based on age group and maturity. I can provide guidance as to how best to use comics in the classroom. Since comic books, graphic novels, and manga have been gaining in popularity for several years, there are many different offerings available that would fit well in educational settings. I can help leaders develop activities to use these books as an engagement tool and a supplement to traditional learning material.

Background

I am a graduate of Southside High School in Fort Smith and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Arkansas. Having worked as a certified classroom teacher for Fort Smith Public Schools, I have first-hand classroom experience and am trained in teaching concepts, classroom management, technology integration, and inclusion. In my journey as a lifelong learner, I have continued to learn and develop skills that I can share with others.

As a creative outlet and a way to develop my artistic abilities, I began making my own comics and posting them online in 2015. Since that time I have developed the skills and learned the processes involved in making a comic. I have had the privilege of using my knowledge as a way to get interest in community events such as comic conventions and fundraisers. I hope to bring together my academic skills and first-hand knowledge to inspire others.

Currently, I am developing all-ages graphic novel projects targeting traditional print publishing. You can find my work at www.melindashores.com.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: all ages
Geographic Availability: Noethwest Arkansas, Fort Smith and surrounding regions
Time Availability: open
Special Needs: projector, paper, pencils, colored pencils, markers