Megan English - Using Graphic Novels in Education
As a future teacher, the study of graphic novels constantly compels me to investigate how this unconventional form of literature can be used in the classroom. Graphic novels appeal to a diverse range of students across gender, race, socio-economic status, background, and content area. Students are more easily engaged by graphic novels and more interested in their content. Through this research I want to focus on three main concepts in regards to graphic novels and education.
First, how are graphic novels most effectively utilized in the classroom and throughout the school?
Graphic novels come in all shapes and sizes and cover a broad range of content. Additionally, there are a number of graphic novels in existence for each academic content area. While graphic novels that relate to English language arts, history, and the arts are most prominent, it is easy to find graphic novels that relate to chemistry and statistics. Can graphic novels be most effectively used in each of the content areas or are they more useful in some than others? Are some graphic novels that cover a range of subjects, such as The Watchmen, applicable to learning in a number of content areas?
Second, which skills does the reading of graphic novels most often employ? How can I know which students they will be the most help to?
Literacy skills are required for success in each content area, and required by the reading of graphic novels. By determining the skills that graphic novels most frequently employ, teachers can then suggest their use to students who are having trouble developing these skills. Additionally, I think it would be helpful to determine if graphic novels help different students' learning in different ways. By establishing these varied results that the reading of graphic novels yield, we could hopefully determine how to help a variety of students with their use.
Third, why are students so drawn to graphic novels?
Such a large number of students enjoy graphic novels, but what is it that draws them to these books? Is it the characters that are already visually created on the page for the reader? Are these characters easier for students to identify with? Do the multiple formats in which the story is presented that appeal to different learning styles? If the main source of inspiration is discovered for a range of students, then this can be used to create more engaging and effective lessons, hopefully improving the entirety of our current educational system.
Most importantly, I simply want to find out how I can best use graphic novels in my classroom.