We live in a visual world where content, including educational content, is often consumed visually in the form of infographics, short videos, and yes, comics. It’s no secret that graphic novels and comics are increasingly popular among young readers. Many readers step from “I Can Read” chapter books that include pictures to popular diary fiction and more complex graphic novels. Graphic novels fill the gap that leads to the unillustrated chapter books that students will study throughout their education.
Discounting these types of literature can be dangerous, especially since students are reading them by choice. Consider drawing from graphic novels to enhance the stories/topics you are teaching to create more room for growth. By engaging students with more relatable material, you will see better results and give students a boost in confidence. Graphic novels in the classroom serve two primary purposes, and sometimes those can be intertwined. The first tackles reluctant readers, the second, reluctant writers.
Three ways to incorporate graphic novels
1. Read Graphic Novels for Independent Reading
Graphic novels provide students with visual context. The visuals break down information for students; they don’t have to parse through long walls of text in order to understand what’s going on. When a student reads a sentence or paragraph in a chapter book, it creates an image in their mind. Understanding what that passage means makes the image clearer. Adding the visual component helps clarify for students who may struggle to grasp the meaning on their own. The combination of short text and images also gives students the ability to develop their vocabulary because they see the words in context, like they might in a visual vocabulary board.
2. Graphic Novels in Creative Writing
Graphic novels also provide a great outlet for creative writing. Creating stories digitally removes any insecurities or fears about being able to draw