Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is There Anything Older Than The Book Chook?

Answer: Yes! Lots of things in history are older than the Book Chook. Take the Bayeux Tapestry for instance.

Said by some to be the earliest British comic strip, it is actually embroidery rather than tapestry as we know it today. Nobody really knows when or why it was created, but some ingenious theories exist.

If you're interested in finding out more about the tapestry, check out this wonderful four and a half minute video, which actually animates the embroidered images to explain the story.

(Thanks to Freetech4teachers for the link.)

Are you wondering how I created my own Bayeux-style artwork below? There's a wonderful website which encourages kids to create Bayeux Tapestry style stories. It's the Historic Tale Construction Kit. (link updated to new website January 2012 - thanks @eisenheinrich!) The interface is just beautiful, with the editor looking as if it is made from material. Press start and you will see your choices, which you can drag and drop to the canvas. Once there you can shrink/enlarge, or flip an image with the mirror button. Switch to text mode, put your cursor on the canvas, and type to create the words you want. 

Isn't this a fantastic way to encourage kids to engage with story? I had a great time exploring and trying words with medieval font. Sometimes the editor was a bit cranky, but it's worth persevering to get such a visually stunning result. Even if your kids are a little young to understand the Norman Invasion of England, I think they might enjoy making their own Bayeux comics.


  1. http://bit.ly/bdxNQU Latest post: Is There Anything Older Than The Book Chook? About my current fascinatio<wbr></wbr>n with Bayeux Tapestry.

  2. These are fun, I have seen students use the Historic Tale Construction Kit to re-tell and explain Beowolf. Great for 1st through 12th grade!

  3. Book Chook16 March, 2010

    Grade 12 and beyond, Kelly. I think it's great too!

  4. A couple of really useful sites, thank you. And I love your sense of humour!

  5. Tania McCartney16 March, 2010

    I love this! and I adore comics. My seven year old son is currently obsessed with comics but I'm not too worried, as I too was obsessed with Archie comics as a kid. I remember my mum lamenting my literary focus but seeing as though I now write, read and promote literacy for a living, she needn't have worried!

  6. Ian Newbold16 March, 2010

    This is brilliant, I have fond memories of learning about the Bayeux Tapestry. Have a vague recollection of recreating it around our school hall. The video is brilliant, excellent combination of images and words bringing the story alive. Will have to check out that resource.

  7. Book Chook17 March, 2010

    Glad you visited Judith!

  8. Book Chook17 March, 2010

    My brother and I loved comics too. We weren't allowed any of our own, which made them even more attractive to us.

    My son has gone from loving comics to loving manga and other graphic novels. Frankly, I see comics as just another wonderful form of story. They can also be a way in to reading denser text for many kids.

    I hope your son has a try at the Construction site, Tanya!

  9. Book Chook17 March, 2010

    I'll bet your school hall walls were a target for child eyes then Ian. I just love trying to work out the story behind each image, and I bet your own kids will too.

  10. Kelly Burstow18 March, 2010

    How facinating!

  11. Is There Anything Older Than The Book Chook? Of course there is, @BookChook is positively sprightly http://ow.ly/1meq0

  12. RT @tidybooks<wbr></wbr>: Is There Anything Older Than The Book Chook? Of course there is, @BookChook is positively sprightly http://ow.ly/1meq0

  13. Hi,
    the link to the historic tale construction kit is broken - however, a reconstructed version can be found at http://bayeux.datensalat.net

  14. @eisenheinrich
    Thanks for the link advice and the new link!


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