Sequentially SmART-Using Graphic Novels across the K-12 Curriculum

By Gavigan, Karen | Teacher Librarian, June 2012 | Go to article overview

Sequentially SmART-Using Graphic Novels across the K-12 Curriculum


Gavigan, Karen, Teacher Librarian


After years of controversy and debate regarding their educational merit, graphic novels have finally come of age.

In fact, today you would likely be hard pressed to find a school library collection without them. Graphic novels are now widely recognized by school librarians as a mainstream literary medium that meets the informational and recreational needs of 21st-century learners. As soaring graphic novel circulation rates indicate, the popularity of graphic novels has grown in leaps and bounds. In addition, the sequential art format helps to facilitate learning for students with a variety of learning styles and abilities. Consequently, the burning question for school librarians regarding graphic novels in schools is no longer "Should I include graphic novels in my collection?," but "How can I use graphic novels to increase student achievement?" In order to improve student learning through the use of graphic novels, school librarians need to know how to convince others of their value, how to decide which graphic novels to use, and how to effectively integrate them across the curriculum.

CONVINCING THE NAYSAYERS

Although many school librarians and teachers value the educational and recreational benefits of graphic novels, there are still the naysayers who view them as subliterature that undermines literacy rather than enhances it. If you have colleagues, administrators, or parents who question the validity of using graphic novels with students, taking the time to inform them about the growing field of graphic novel research might help them understand the potential for using graphic novels in libraries and classrooms. The following body of research and theory can help to dispel any fears about using graphic novels in schools:

* Boys and Male Adolescents: A number of studies have revealed that the high interest topics and visual support found in graphic novels increased the reading motivation of boys and male adolescents (Brozo, 2002; Gavigan, 2011; Ivey & Fisher, 2006; Krashen, 2004; Ontario Ministry of Education, 2004; Smith & Wilhelm, 2002; Ujiie & Krashen, 1996).

* English Language Learners (ELL): Recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of using graphic novels with English language learners (Cary, 2004; Chun, 2009; Liu, 2004). For example, Cary's 2004 study proved that the authentic dialogues in graphic novels can help English language learners comprehend everyday English.

* Multiple Literacies: Other studies have shown that graphic novels can be used effectively to teach multiple literacies (Carter, 2007; Frey & Fisher, 2008; Schwarz, 2002; Xu, Sawyer, Zunich, 2005).

* Reading Comprehension: Reading comics/graphic novels increases vocabulary and comprehension by helping readers decode words and events through the use of visual sequences. Krashen (2004) also found that free voluntary reading leads to higher literacy skills (Krashen, 2004; Simmons, 2003)

* Reading Motivation: Several studies demonstrated that the combination of text and visuals in graphic novels can motivate readers to achieve reading enjoyment and success (Botzakis, 2009; Carter, 2007; Hammond, 2009; Krashen, 2004; Monnin, 2008).

* Special Needs Students: Graphic novels have also been shown to have a positive impact on the reading motivation and achievement of special needs students, including deaf students, autistic students, and other students with learning differences (Gavigan, 2011, Smetana, Odelson, Burns, & Grisham, 2009; Young & Irwin, 2005).

CONNECTING TO THE STANDARDS

In addition to using research to justify the use of graphic novels in schools, librarians need to be well-versed on how national standards support the use of graphic novels across the curriculum. Sharing this information with administrators and classroom teachers can help them realize that graphic novels can be effective tools for teaching the standards. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sequentially SmART-Using Graphic Novels across the K-12 Curriculum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.