Graphic novels=real reading

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  • Graphic Novels:REAL Reading

    Presented by The Oakland County Reading CouncilEmily Freeman, Vice President

  • What Comics Do You Remember Reading as a Child?

  • Why dont we consider comics REAL Reading?Common perceptions of comics:

    Funny Shallow characters/plots Short Easy Frivolous

  • Comprehension Based on reading research: What do proficient readers do mentally as they read?

    Use Prior Knowledge

    Create Mental Images

    Make Inferences

    Ask Questions

    Determine Importance

    Synthesize What They Read

  • What does that look like in REAL life?

    Lets Try It With Comics!

  • Prior Knowledge Theory of Relativity Idioms Stereotypes of mathematicians

  • Mental Images What was going on before this

    moment? What comes next?

  • Making Inferences What is he thinking?

  • Asking Questions What were you wondering

    when you first saw the image? When you read the words? Still wondering now?

  • Determining Importance Where is the focal point? Which details are necessary for

    understanding? Which details are less


  • Synthesizing Reading Whats the joke?

  • Writers give clues, but readers have to amass the evidence and draw conclusions for themselves.

    Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003

    Even if those clues are given through images and text together, rather than text alone.

  • What Are Graphic Novels?Are they really any different from comics?

    Format, not genre Panels Left-to-right reading Can be any genre or age level Usually longer, stand-alone story

  • Graphic NovelsAccording to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund graphic novels have important features that develop reading skills:

    Rich vocabulary, simple text

    Visual/text pairing benefits comprehension

    Content is wide, deep, and varied

    Kids like them!

  • Vocabulary Comic books do NOT reduce vocabulary

    demand. Comics have 53 rare words per 1,000,

    compared with 52 per 1,000 in adult-level novels.

    They DO provide picture support, quick and appealing storylines, and less text.

    Make vocabulary more accessible.

    Hayes and Athens, 1988

    Stan Lee

    I determined never to talk down to the reader. I insisted on using college-level vocabulary. If a kid didnt know what a word meant, hed get it by osmosis. If he had to go to a dictionary, thats not the worst thing in the world!

  • Visual/Text Pairing Learning is maximized when pictures are

    combined with text. Visuals make abstract concepts,

    metaphors, and temporal/spatial relationships more clear.

    Sequenced panels aid comprehension of plot development.

    Story gaps between panels require active problem solving.

  • Content/Genre Graphic novel is a format, not a genre. Any story can be told in GN format,

    including nonfiction. Many have fantasy elements. Lots of new realistic fiction and memoir.

  • Kids and ChoiceKids who are internally

    motivated spend 300% more time reading independently than

    kids who are not.McRae and Guthrie, 2008

  • Finding GNs Here are some things to look for to find one youll LOVE:



    Age Appropriateness

    Art Style

  • Places to Learn MoreReadingwithpictures.orgPublish educational comics for kids and comics reviews

    getgraphic.orgHas an extensive book list by age appropriateness

    Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ( their pamphlet Raising a Reader for free!