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As we move further into the 21 st century, we move further away from traditional “print only” text reading from left to right and more into a world combining the simultaneous reading of text and visuals….which is exactly what the world of graphic novels is!!!!!
Brief overview of graphic novels and basic vocabulary
Examples of linking the texts to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards
Questions and Discussion
First, what are Graphic Novels?
They are full length books written in comic form.
So, what is a comic?
A comic is defined by Will Eisner as “sequential art” Can you think of any examples of “sequential art?”
Examples of Sequential Art It can be argued that tapestries, cave drawings, and stained glass windows are examples of “sequential art.”
Graphic Novels are a medium, not a genre. (the first activity you do will further delve into this statement) Graphic Novels are Bound Books of Comics
So, what is the difference between a Graphic Novel and a Picture Book? Who was secretly asking themselves this question???
Typically, the reader (or listener) can understand a picture book without “reading” the pictures but a reader can not understand a graphic novel without reading the pictures. Pictures are an integral part of comics and graphic novels.
An Overview of Vocabulary
Page: A Collection of Panels on one sheet of paper.
Panel: Each divided section of a page containing it's own image and/or text.
Gutter: The (usually white) space that divides the panels on a page.
Speech Bubble: Dialogue spoken by a character that is typically drawn to appear as though it is coming from that person.
Thought Bubble: Thoughts/feelings from a character, usually appearing as either a cloud or square colored box
Graphic Novels are a medium not a genre. Why is this an important statement for you, as media specialists?
Graphic Novels can be incorporated into lessons and activities to make them more engaging and motivating while simultaneously meeting New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards.
How Can You Further the Circulation of Graphic Novels?
Strategically place them in the library
Make students, teachers, parents, and administrators aware of what they are and what is in the collection
Aid teachers in becoming aware of how to use them in their classrooms
How Can Teachers Use Graphic Novels in Their Classrooms?
To supplement their classroom libraries.
For read alouds (yes read alouds!!!!)
Teachers can also use one page or several pages for a reading activity (this may motivate the students want to take the book out from the library!!!)
Teachers can also use one page, one panel or several pages for journal writing prompts.
Using Graphic Novels in The LAL Class
Can be used as “traditional” texts are used. For example:
For recognizing how authors use humor, sarcasm, and imagery to extend meaning.
For summarizing major points from fiction and nonfiction texts.
To identify genre by their distinctive elements (e.g. tall tale-exaggeration).
To Focus In-Depth on Themes
Note: One of the American Library Association’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults
Themes Related to Language Arts: Love, Justice, The Individual in Society, The Individual Versus Self
King of Thorn Vol 1
Won award for the American Librarian Association’s Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens 2008
Manga (this is a type of Japanese graphic (which come in many different genres) novel and is read right to left)
It is science fiction
Themes to explore in the language arts classroom: the individual versus society, justice, and the individual versus nature
The Epic Tale
Epics are large scale works that are larger than life. They are ambitious and deal with heroes and themes such as justice. One can indeed look at comics such as Batman as an epic tale. Taking on this view one can introduce students to epics using superheroes and make the transitions to reading classic epics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer go more smoothly. Can you think of any other “modern day” epics?
Definition: when you make a thing, idea, or an animal do something only humans can do.
Maus, Bone :Out From Boneville , and Baby Mouse can all be used to teach about personification
Social Studies and Language Arts: Biographies
The Holocaust / Genocide Studies (a New Jersey Core Curriculum Standard Requirement)
Current events, history, war, politics, archeology, shipwrecks, and crime!!!!!!!