One of the advantages of using graphic novels to bring critical thinking into

One of the advantages of using graphic novels to

This preview shows page 13 - 16 out of 50 pages.

depth class discussion or research on these topics (Schwarz, 2002a). One of the advantages of using graphic novels to bring critical thinking into the classroom is that they are often shorter and quicker to read than other texts. In a case example, a class of college students read a three page graphic novel by John Callahan that provoked discussions for two entire class periods (Versaci, 2001). Graphic novels are especially important in promoting ideas of visual literacy and accommodating students who might be classified as visual learners. Students begin reading by using picture books. At a certain age/grade, this becomes considered inappropriate, and students move to text-only literature. Graphic novels can bridge this gap, an essential transition for some students (Gorman, 2003). The combination of images and words work together to increase comprehension (Little, 2005). According to Spiegelman, sequential comics allow the reader to gain a great deal of information by just looking at the page (Goldsmith, 2002). This is not to say the text is unimportant, but for
Image of page 13
13 some readers, this visual scaffold is the best way to understand the concepts the author is presenting. Not only do these images make comprehension easier, they also add depth that might be lost through text alone. In their article Finding space and time for the visual in K-12 literacy instruction, Hassett and Schieble (2007) discuss scenes from Marjane Satrapi’s novel Persepolis , in which the shading of the main character’s face provides information about tone and mood at a much deeper level than the accompanying text. In addition to aiding visual learners, graphic novels have been touted as being a beneficial tool for reluctant or struggling readers (possibly because many of these students are visual learners). Again, because graphic novels often are of interest to young readers, this alone can benefit reluctant readers. After years of struggling, these students may not be inclined to want to read, however, if they are interested in a text, it will improve the chances they will pick up a book and start reading. Many adults who read graphic novels were once reluctant readers, and graphic novels have been termed a 'gateway' into traditional literature (Goldsmith, 2002). Bone author, Jeff Smith states, “comics taught me to read” (Gorman, 2003, p. ix). Some reluctant readers may not be able to detect certain literary elements such as tone, mood, theme and foreshadowing from text alone. However, the images in graphic novels provide these elements at a level easier to reach for many readers (Beers et al., 2007). According to novelist Art Spiegelman, young comic book readers may be able to understand 60-70% of a story by just using images alone (Gorman, 2003). Additionally, the text format of many graphic novels using text bubbles and short sentences may be easier to read and less daunting for struggling readers (Little, 2005). In a specific case study, one teacher used graphic novels and comics to teach her English class about transcendentalism. She found the students
Image of page 14
14 who were struggling most in her class improved in both achievement and overall understanding at the end of the unit. And perhaps more importantly, her entire class
Image of page 15
Image of page 16

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 50 pages?

  • Fall '19
  • Comic book, Use of Graphic Novels

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture