Graphic Novels in the Language Arts Classroom

Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One of the key challenges in teaching graphic narratives is convincing readers that a text that looks every bit like a simple comic requires more than minimal analysis and critical reading. Thoroughly understanding a graphic narrative means developing literacies that make sense of both visual and textual elements on a page. Certainly some of the most popular graphic narratives in recent years like Art Spiegelman’s /Maus: A Survivor’s Tale/ and Marjane Satrapi’s /Persepolis/ require such skills. This seminar will include an overview of the graphic narratives currently available to readers, focused readings of specific texts, description of resources for teaching graphic narratives, and discussion of what kinds of activities work best when teaching graphic narratives. Our goal will be to develop both reading strategies and inventive activities for teaching graphic narratives in a literature classroom.

Seminar led by Spencer Schaffner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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