The Case to
Include
Comics
in the
Curriculum
Comics
and the
Common Core:
NYCC 2013
Amie
Wright
NYPL
Emily
Weisenstein
Madi...
What is the Common Core?
45 states - New standards for Math & English Language Arts + Literacy in
History/Social Studies, ...
● Students graduating Grade 12 without critical skills
including: the ability to read complex text, conduct
evidence-based...
1. No more fiction
2. 100% Leveled
Reading
3. Unified Curriculum
4. Specified ‘common
core’ materials
4 Myths about the Co...
What does this have to do with
comics?
Comics & the Common Core
Common Core wants kids reading 'on level' with
increasing ‘text complexity’...how do graphic
nove...
Comics & the Common Core
Common Core is about creating better readers
Students who are more critical, engaged,
analytical,...
Comics make better readers
The evidence is in…..
1. Reading for pleasure puts
kids ahead in the
classroom
2. Comics may he...
...so why the resistance?
Comics are Common Core aligned
• Comics do make better readers
• More involved teachers & librar...
…so why the resistance?
AMAZING new comics
The
Bad
Reputation
Why are comics
and graphic
novels often
viewed as
inappropriate
or non-quality
literature?
The Senate Subcommittee Hearings
on Juvenile Delinquency (1954)
● Young people + comics = juvenile delinquents
● Only horr...
Comics on Trial
●
● Biased representation
● Comics were represented in
an unfavorable way
● The new Comics Code Authority
...
Questionable Content: Comics have
limited subject matter, right?
Wrong! The opposite is true. Comics are not limited
to su...
Questionable format: Serious books can’t
have fun, colorful pictures, can they?
● Text-only books are perceived as superio...
So...Can Comics Help Students?
Yes!
Students of all ages and reading levels
can benefit from graphic novels.
Graphic novel...
Graphic novels can offer:
● Increased motivation
○ The graphic novel format is appealing
to school-age children
● Enthusia...
Graphic novels can offer:
● Support for struggling readers:
○ Less intimidating to lower level readers,ESL students
○ Illu...
Graphic novels and Common Core
Curriculum
How can graphic novels help overall learning?
● Wide range of topical non-fictio...
● What is visual literacy?
○ To understand, interpret, and make meaning from
information presented in visual form.
○ Seque...
Sequential Art
and Storytelling
From Robot Dreams
by Sara Varon
Learning to
‘read’ a picture
From Drama by Raina Telgemeier
From Drama
by Raina Telgemeier
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and
formats, including visually and q...
• Huge selection of STEM based
graphic novels
• More accessible for reluctant
students
• Visual learners benefit from
imag...
Diagrams aid in understanding
Cultural Literacy
● Variety of multicultural graphic novels
● Relatable stories and characters
● Illustrations present a m...
Illustrations immerse the
reader in a new world
Social Studies
● Political cartoons are some of the earliest
comics
● Present lengthy/dry texts in more
approachable forma...
Information Literacy
Our own AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
● 1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information pr...
Creative Expression
● Poetic license
● Unique format
● Alternative storytelling
● Thinking outside the box
● STEM to STEAM - Art and design should be included as an essential skill
● A range of simple and complex artwork can be u...
Comics create visual literacy - and they are
directly tied to common core standards
Comics work best in pairs for the relu...
Comics can supplement
curriculum
Comics can supply amazing
firsthand information
Comics can visually convey a
period in hi...
“Isn’t it all just manga and superheroes?”
“I have all the volumes of Naruto….”
“I guess I just don’t understand them.”
[....
“Comics are just for kids.”
“Comics are just for boys.”
“I only like real/long books.”
Scenario #4: Kid hates comics
Two words: circulation statistics
Examples:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Babymouse
Graphic History
Squish
Also, maybe some ‘Unders...
Common Core Curriculum Standards
http://www.corestandards.org/
AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
http://www.ala....
Booklists:
● Math Graphic Novel Guide courtesy of Indiana University Southeast Library:
http://libguides.ius.edu/content.p...
Click on the image for more information:
Graphic Novels
Click on the image for more information:
Graphic Novels
Click on the image for more information:
Graphic Novels
Click on the image for more information:
Graphic Novels
Amie Wright
Selection Librarian - MyLibraryNYC
New York Public Library
amiewright@bookops.org / @librarylandia
Stephanie G...
Comics and the Common Core: New York Comic Con 2013
Comics and the Common Core: New York Comic Con 2013
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Comics and the Common Core: New York Comic Con 2013

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Comics and the Common Core: The Case to include Comics in the Curriculum. Presented at New York Comic Con 2013 by Amie Wright, New York Public Library; Stephanie Gabelmann, Boonton Holmes Public Library; and Emily Weisenstein, Madison Public Library. Not just for reluctant readers anymore, every child would benefit from including graphic novels in the classroom. Comics and graphic novels are incredible learning tools that not only help support our Common Core State Educational Standards, but also teach literacy and comprehension skills beyond those of traditional books. Presentation includes information on Common Core State Standards, history of comics in the US (including the Comics Code and Senate hearings of the 1950s), comics as tools to enhance and create visual literacy. Presentation also includes a Resource, Links, and Reading List (last 7 slides).

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  • Wow! I introduce teachers to graphic novels through the Buffalo NY library and I'm sending this presentation to everyone. Truly some great information. Thanks for your hard work:)
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  • Thanks for your feedback! That is exactly what we hoped to address in pulling together this presentation - what to do about 'comic reluctant' parents, teachers...and fellow librarians. Thanks again.
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  • Bravo, Amie! Loads of info to digest here; thank you for putting it together. I was on a graphic novels panel last week at the NYC School Librarians Conference, and afterwards had a (older) librarian tell me she did not 'get' GN's- 'but the kids seem to like them.' She then proceeded to tell another librarian how she 'removed the Bone series' from her school's library. sigh.
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Comics and the Common Core: New York Comic Con 2013

  1. 1. The Case to Include Comics in the Curriculum Comics and the Common Core: NYCC 2013 Amie Wright NYPL Emily Weisenstein Madison Public Library Stephanie Gabelmann Boonton Holmes Public Library
  2. 2. What is the Common Core? 45 states - New standards for Math & English Language Arts + Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science & Technical Subjects
  3. 3. ● Students graduating Grade 12 without critical skills including: the ability to read complex text, conduct evidence-based research, or analytically deconstruct complex images ● Students moving between states – disparity of educational standards between states ● Global Economy Why the Common Core? Better readers = more successful adults
  4. 4. 1. No more fiction 2. 100% Leveled Reading 3. Unified Curriculum 4. Specified ‘common core’ materials 4 Myths about the Common Core what the Common Core is - 3 instructional shifts
  5. 5. What does this have to do with comics?
  6. 6. Comics & the Common Core Common Core wants kids reading 'on level' with increasing ‘text complexity’...how do graphic novels fit with this? Levelled Reading: ● Lexile & Comics – issues and concerns Other goals: ● focus on primary source content ● firsthand accounts ● compare/contrast evidence ● multiple perspectives ● multiple formats Did you know that Leveled Reading - like Lexile - is only a part of text complexity?
  7. 7. Comics & the Common Core Common Core is about creating better readers Students who are more critical, engaged, analytical, inquisitive, better, more confident readers. Best way to do that…?
  8. 8. Comics make better readers The evidence is in….. 1. Reading for pleasure puts kids ahead in the classroom 2. Comics may help people retain information better than traditional books 3. ALA Declaration for the Right to Libraries – more librarians = better test scores
  9. 9. ...so why the resistance? Comics are Common Core aligned • Comics do make better readers • More involved teachers & librarians does = better students Not to mention so many great graphic novels…..
  10. 10. …so why the resistance? AMAZING new comics
  11. 11. The Bad Reputation Why are comics and graphic novels often viewed as inappropriate or non-quality literature?
  12. 12. The Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency (1954) ● Young people + comics = juvenile delinquents ● Only horror and crime comics were investigated ● Members of the comic book industry, politicians, educators and doctors were present at trial ● Trials were televised Comics on Trial
  13. 13. Comics on Trial ● ● Biased representation ● Comics were represented in an unfavorable way ● The new Comics Code Authority toned comics down ● Comics remained linked with crime, horror and delinquency in the mind of the public
  14. 14. Questionable Content: Comics have limited subject matter, right? Wrong! The opposite is true. Comics are not limited to superheroes, aliens, crime, violence….. Many subjects translate successfully into graphic novels: History/Historical Fiction, Science, Biography, Geography, Math, Classics, Poetry, Mythology/Tall Tales/Folklore
  15. 15. Questionable format: Serious books can’t have fun, colorful pictures, can they? ● Text-only books are perceived as superior to books with pictures ● Children begin reading with picture books, and as they become “better readers” the pictures begin to disappear ● Information can be presented in many different ways ● Graphic novels are simply an alternative way of presenting information. If a reader gains understanding, should it matter in which format the information is presented?
  16. 16. So...Can Comics Help Students? Yes! Students of all ages and reading levels can benefit from graphic novels. Graphic novels have proven their worth in the medical world Dr. Michael J. Green published a comic-style article in a reputable medical journal Dr. Green also teaches a graphic novel course to medical students at Penn State College of Medicine
  17. 17. Graphic novels can offer: ● Increased motivation ○ The graphic novel format is appealing to school-age children ● Enthusiasm to explore a wider range of subject matter CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  18. 18. Graphic novels can offer: ● Support for struggling readers: ○ Less intimidating to lower level readers,ESL students ○ Illustrations provide visual clues to help interpret text, vocabulary, and emotion ● Challenge for advanced readers through complex plot lines, characters, etc CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3a Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  19. 19. Graphic novels and Common Core Curriculum How can graphic novels help overall learning? ● Wide range of topical non-fiction and fiction titles ● 65% of the population are visual learners ● Easily accessible
  20. 20. ● What is visual literacy? ○ To understand, interpret, and make meaning from information presented in visual form. ○ Sequential art and storytelling ○ Understanding visual cues Visual Literacy CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  21. 21. Sequential Art and Storytelling From Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
  22. 22. Learning to ‘read’ a picture From Drama by Raina Telgemeier From Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  23. 23. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail. ● What is visual literacy? ○ To understand, interpret, and make meaning from information presented in visual form. ○ Sequential art and storytelling ○ Understanding visual cues Traditional books can’t teach this! Visual Literacy
  24. 24. • Huge selection of STEM based graphic novels • More accessible for reluctant students • Visual learners benefit from images, graphs, & diagrams • Format aids retention CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7 Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words. CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics….’They (students) are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas.’ STEM
  25. 25. Diagrams aid in understanding
  26. 26. Cultural Literacy ● Variety of multicultural graphic novels ● Relatable stories and characters ● Illustrations present a more complete picture of diversity ● Visual and textual immersion in a new culture CCSS.ELA-Introduction: Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds.
  27. 27. Illustrations immerse the reader in a new world
  28. 28. Social Studies ● Political cartoons are some of the earliest comics ● Present lengthy/dry texts in more approachable format ○ 9/11 Report ○ United States Constitution ● Visual representations enhance understanding CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
  29. 29. Information Literacy Our own AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner ● 1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning. ● 1.2.3 Demonstrate creativity by using multiple resources and formats. ● 4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth. ● 4.1.3 Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres. ● 4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres. ● 4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning. ● 4.2.4 Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary genres. Common Core Crosswalk: An AASL Guide on how the Standards for the 21st Century and Common Core align. http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/crosswalk
  30. 30. Creative Expression ● Poetic license ● Unique format ● Alternative storytelling ● Thinking outside the box
  31. 31. ● STEM to STEAM - Art and design should be included as an essential skill ● A range of simple and complex artwork can be used to tell a story ● Artistic variety ● Artistic style Artistic appreciation CCSS ELA’s definition of technical subjects: A course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music.
  32. 32. Comics create visual literacy - and they are directly tied to common core standards Comics work best in pairs for the reluctant parent Scenario #1: Parent hates comics “Comics are kid’s stuff.” “There’s nothing of value in comics.” Worst of all: “No, you can’t check that out. Go get a real book.”
  33. 33. Comics can supplement curriculum Comics can supply amazing firsthand information Comics can visually convey a period in history Scenario #2: Teacher hates comics “Comics aren’t educational.” “We have no time for them in the classroom.” “Comics are ok as long as it leads to ‘real’ reading.”
  34. 34. “Isn’t it all just manga and superheroes?” “I have all the volumes of Naruto….” “I guess I just don’t understand them.” [...let’s call them ‘comic reluctant’] Comics use their format to display information in uncommon ways to tell unique stories. Scenario #3: Library staff hates comics It is not just superheroes...and even when it is, it is not always the traditional superhero stories/formats - ex. above from Hawkeye #11
  35. 35. “Comics are just for kids.” “Comics are just for boys.” “I only like real/long books.” Scenario #4: Kid hates comics
  36. 36. Two words: circulation statistics Examples: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Babymouse Graphic History Squish Also, maybe some ‘Understanding’ of comics as sequential art is needed Scenario #5: Your boss hates comics “We have a tight budget.” “Can we justify them in our collection?” “We never used to have them…”
  37. 37. Common Core Curriculum Standards http://www.corestandards.org/ AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/learning-standards STEM to STEAM http://stemtosteam.org/ Common Core Visual Literacy and Technology Mention http://www.ciclt.net/ul/garesa/CommonCoreVisualLiteracyTechnologyMention.pdf ‘Common Core Crosswalk’: An AASL Guide on how the Standards for the 21st Century and Common Core State Standards align. http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/crosswalk Reading Studies ● Reading for pleasure puts kids ahead in the classroom ● Comics may help people retain information better than traditional books ● Medical Students Study Graphic Novels ● ALA Declaration for the Right to Libraries librarians = better scores/better readers Links
  38. 38. Booklists: ● Math Graphic Novel Guide courtesy of Indiana University Southeast Library: http://libguides.ius.edu/content.php?pid=405346&sid=3322581 ● Science Graphic Novel Booklist courtesy of Booklist Online: http://booklistonline.com/ProductInfo.aspx?pid=4268442&AspxAutoDetectCookieSu pport=1 ● Multicultural Graphic Novels/Comics/Manga courtesy of Townsend Memorial Library: http://libguides.umhb.edu/content.php?pid=285448&sid=2349644 ● Graphic Novel Common Core List courtesy of Diamond Comics: http://www.diamondcomics.com/Home/1/1/3/597?articleID=135961 ● NYPL Children’s Books 2012: Graphic Novels: http://on.nypl.org/GMiuzd Teaching Resources: ● March: Book One Teacher’s Guide courtesy of Top Shelf Comics: http://www.topshelfcomix.com/contact/teachers-guide ● Using Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/graphic-novels-comics-andrew-miller ● Common Core Guides from Toon Books (lesson plans and activities): http://www.toon-books.com/common-core-guides.html Resources
  39. 39. Click on the image for more information: Graphic Novels
  40. 40. Click on the image for more information: Graphic Novels
  41. 41. Click on the image for more information: Graphic Novels
  42. 42. Click on the image for more information: Graphic Novels
  43. 43. Amie Wright Selection Librarian - MyLibraryNYC New York Public Library amiewright@bookops.org / @librarylandia Stephanie Gabelmann Library Director Boonton Holmes Public Library stephanie.gabelmann@boontonholmeslibrary.org Emily Weisenstein Children’s Services Supervisor Madison Public Library emily.weisenstein@mainlib.org Contact us!
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