Using Cartoons, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the Classroom

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Some tips, tricks, and warnings about using Cartoons, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the secondary classroom, featuring "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang.

Text of Using Cartoons, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the Classroom

  • 1.Using Cartoons, Comics, and Graphic Novels in the Classroom Quinn Rollins 2013

2. About Me I was raised in the 70s and 80s on a steady diet of cartoons 3. Comic Strips The only part of the paper that mattered was the comics page 4. My Career In my previous life, I was a cartoonist for the University of Utah I was also a toy designer for Palisades Toys 5. Impact on Teaching In my social studies teaching, I often use political cartoons, comic strips, comic book characters, and graphic novels. 6. Political CartoonsPublished in newspapers or online About current events Useful for class discussions 7. Comic Strips Serialized or stand-alone Published in newspapers or online Useful for cause & effect, character analysis 8. Comic Books Serialized or stand-aloneSuperheroesIndependentGood for key ideas, character mapping 9. Graphic Novels Self-contained booksDeveloped charactersVaried settingsOften address a social issue 10. Why use Graphic Novels? Can help promote complex reading skills Can play a role similar to childrens literature 11. Why use Graphic Novels? Point of reference to bridge what students already know with what they have yet to learn Making inferences from pictures + text Transfer this skill to lessen the challenge of a new book 12. Why use Graphic Novels? Use as another kind of pop culture Can address curriculum standards Motivate students to learn Enhance learning Provide additional opportunities for those who struggle with literacy tasks 13. What makes it a Graphic Novel? Structure Beginning, middle, end ClimaxCharacter Main character developsthrough conflictsArtwork Text is both written andvisual Each picture aids in interpretation of the text 14. Graphic Novel as a ToolFor students who lack the ability to visualize as they read, it provides a graphic sense that approximates what good readers do as they read. it provides an excellent way for reluctant writers to communicate a story that has a beginning, middle and end. easy for the students to look at a short comic strip and identify story elements. -- Rachael Sawyer Perkins 15. Graphic Novels as a Tool The brainis a meaning-maker, constantly searching for patterns, connecting bits of new information to old, fashioning wholes from parts and parts from wholes. Its also shamelessly self-centered. The brain makes sense of the world in terms of personal learner needs. -- Stephen Cary 16. Other ways to use Graphic Novels Use wordless graphic novels to teach dialogue, characterization, voice and other literary functions 17. Other ways to use Graphic Novels Emphasize critical literacy analyze, read, and understand the motive of the author and accuracy of the reading 18. Other ways to use Graphic Novels Students are more capable of understanding complex issues than theyre capable of accessing traditional texts. Graphic novels can reduce cognitive load, while still portraying sophisticated concepts. 19. Using Graphic Novels They give the teacher an opportunity to bring youth culture into the classroom. We care about their interests - They contribute something of value - Students see us as fellow learners (their ability to read these texts usually exceeds that of the teacher) - 20. Things to watch out for Adaptations They should be used as supplements, not replacements for the original text. 21. Things to watch out for Superheroes Most superhero graphic novels assume thereader has encyclopedic knowledge Are more implausible than real world graphic novels Characters might be well-known through movies or other media 22. Things to watch out for The same tools you use for analyzing other literature can (and should) be used for graphic novels - Graphic Organizers - Character Maps - Sequencing - Webs - Compare/Contrast 23. Things to watch out for Content Language Violence Sex Alignment to curriculum 24. A Few More Recommendations: 25. American Born Chinese Structure Setting Characters Plot Theme Artwork 26. American Born Chinese How does the structure of American Born Chinese impact the reader? How would the structure influence how you might teach the novel? 27. American Born Chinese Characters: Monkey King Jin Wang Danny Chin-Kee 28. American Born Chinese Conflict: Monkey King / Gods Jin Wang / Wei-Chen Danny / Chin-Kee 29. American Born Chinese Themes: Prejudice Racism Acceptance Immigration Self-Knowledge Assimilation 30. American Born Chinese How does the artwork underscore the message of the text? How would a different style of artwork change the book? 31. Conclusions Graphic Novels and Comics are seeing a surge in popularity among young readers, and can be a powerful tool with students Gaining academic acceptance is an uphill battle with parents and some administrators Dont sacrifice rigor because its only a comic book 32. And yes, I still like SuperFriends.

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