Super Books! Using Comics and Graphic Novels to Enhance Literacy Instruction

Author: Erin Bloom

School/Organization:

Wagner Middle School

Year: 2011

Seminar: Children's Literature

Grade Level: 6

Keywords: comic books, graphic novels, literacy

School Subject(s): English, Literature

Struggling and reluctant readers: they exist in classrooms across our nation, presenting seemingly insurmountable challenges for educators who attempt to engage them in the wonderful world of reading.  Yet, despite the efforts of many of these educators, struggling and reluctant readers seem to lack an enthusiasm for the written word. For some, it is because they find traditional texts inaccessible; for others, the ever-persistent language barrier rears its ugly head yet again. Caught up in the system, many of these students are misunderstood and considered “lazy” or “unmotivated.” For these students, who have traditionally experienced failure with reading, using graphic novels as an instructional and motivational tool may prove fruitful for students and educators alike.

Implemented into the literacy curriculum, graphic novels are accessible, relevant, high-interest reading materials that appeal to a variety of learning styles. Differentiation is inherent in the novels, which can be used for interdisciplinary studies as well, with the ever-increasing variety of texts available on the market today. Reading graphic novels and comics invites students to think critically and sequentially, analyze the connection between visual and print messages, and use deductive reasoning skills.  Used as a vehicle to re-engage disengaged readers and empower struggling readers, graphic novels are invaluable resources in the modern literacy or language arts classroom.

This unit examines the use of graphic novels and comics in the 6th grade literacy classroom as a vehicle for developing reading comprehension skills and fostering a love for reading and provides lessons and activities that encourage struggling and disenfranchised readers to appreciate and gain a fresh perspective of the written word.

Download Unit: 11.01.01.pdf

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