When I was doing research for this month’s SLJ article on comics in schools, I had the opportunity to talk to a number of experts on the topic, including researchers, teachers, and school librarians. And as anyone who has ever written a story like this, or been interviewed for one, knows, only a fraction of those interviews goes into the finished piece.
Buy hey, we’ve got a blog!
All this week, I’ll be posting the interviews I did for the article. We’re kicking it off with a long, but very informative, e-mail interview I did with Meryl Jaffe, who is an instructor at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, Online Division, and the author of Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning.
Welcome to Using Graphic Novels in Education, an ongoing feature from CBLDF that is designed to allay confusion around the content of graphic novels and to...
Meryl Jaffe, PhD's insight:
Amulet introduces us to wonderfully faceted characters — robots that bring to mind Star Wars; steampunk robot houses; elves; anthropomorphic foxes, rabbits, and cats; all sorts of flying machines piloted by children and robots; and more.
Through exciting twists and turns, Amulet deals with familial responsibilities, coming of age, finding the courage to face unwanted challenges, and the importance of teamwork. In each volume we ride a roller coaster of plot twists, along with outstanding art, graphic design, and character development.
These books are geared for kids 7+ and can be easily integrated into language arts and social studies lessons for grades 2-6. Read on for lesson suggestions, resources and links!
In this episode, we present a live panel from New York Comic Con 2013, featuring a Who's Who in All-Ages Graphic Novels. The panel is a roundtable on using Comics in the Classroom, and we hear from (among others) author and educator Meryl Jaffe, author Jenni Holm (Babymouse, Squish), cartoonist Matt Holm (Babymouse, Squish), cartoonist Eric Wight (My Dead Girlfriend, Frankie Pickle), cartoonist Larry Marder (Beanworld), and more.
They discuss: comics as an education tool, recommended reading for kids, and more.
Hope Larson tells a strong story about friendship, loyalty, and choices and provides card game and friendship bracelet instructions, making this a heart-warming summer choice for young teenagers.
The rest of the story is up to you to read and enjoy.
In short, Chiggers is about friendship, camp cliques, and games, and learning from both good and bad choices. It is recommended for young teens and older. In addition to Larson’s nuanced characters and summer exploits Chiggers is about:
Navigating friendships in and out of cliques;Taking ownership for decisions and learning from them;Dealing with the need to belong while maintaining individuality and independence;An honest look at the ins and outs of summer sleep-away camp.
IF you can survive junior high, you can survive ANYTHING!! (I Swear) –Jace Smith, “Tips for Surviving Middle School,” Stuck in the Middle
In this post, we look at Stuck in the Middle: Seventeen Comics from an UNPLEASANT Age, edited by Ariel Schrag. Stuck in the Middle is an anthology of comics by critically acclaimed cartoonists who take a bitingly honest look back at their “awkward” middle-school years, reflecting upon them with sensitivity and some humor. Many of the pieces, however lack resolution, making them unsettling — much like those teenage years themselves. While some may find this format haunting and less kid-friendly, the stories serve as outstanding opportunities to brainstorm and problem solve.
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