Next year, students in Victoria will be able to study a graphic novel, The Complete Maus, as part of the English curriculum.
Well done Victoria! The irony is that we have a National Curriculum about to be introduced, yet individual states continue to do their own thing. It's a pity that all Australian students don't get a chance to study a graphic novel as a core text, rather than as a supplementary one.
"But what about the idea that graphic novels encompass such a wide range of themes and create such layered experiences through word and art that they actually belong in classrooms? Because contemporary students have a much wider visual vocabulary than we did growing up, I contend that the format offers great opportunities to teach as well as to entertain."
NYCC: Griepp's White Paper Report Gives Comics Industry a Gold Star - After a bumpy 2012, comics sales are up this year, thanks to a variety of factors including variant covers, a manga resurgance, The Walking Dead and digital comics.
It's interesting to see the broader context for graphic novels in the classroom. Also of interest is the fact that sales of comic books and graphic novels in both paper and digital mediums have increased.
"This month, we take a closer look at Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa, translated by Project Gen (Last Gasp of San Francisco, 2004). Barefoot Gen is considered one of the most important anti-war manga ever written. The series focuses on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the aftermath of the Pacific War."
A great teaching resource. A number of schools in NSW use Barefoot Gen as an HSC related text in the Area of Study: After the Bomb.
There’s little doubt that progress has been made since Carter’s comments; the literature indicating increased use of graphic novels in classrooms, and higher visibility of the format in school curricula.
A quick glance at my current doctoral research into English teachers' experiences with graphic novels as classroom texts.
THE ADVENTURES OF NELLY NOLAN BK 1: THE NELLY GANG by Stephen Axelsen, 2013. Will Nelly and her friends be able to rescue Pa from the bushrangers and retrieve the gold?
Teaching about the goldfields? Then don't miss this new graphic novel from Australian author Stephen Axelsen. Aimed at primary school audiences. Link provided to Teacher resources which map activities to the primary Aus Curriculum in English, History and Art.
“In this graphic novel version of War Brothers, artist Daniel Lafrance captures the terror, poignancy, and hope expressed in the text. In the best tradition of the graphic novel, this one brings an immediacy and power to a story that will sear itself into the mind of every reader.”
An amazing, and disturbing, GN based on the true story of a group of boys in Uganda who are kidnapped to become soldiers of the LRA (led by Kony). Excellent text for discussion of child soldiers and the issues that come with it.
"Persepolis is an important classroom tool for a number of reasons. First, it is a primary source detailing life in Iran during the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War . Readers of all ages get a glimpse of what life is like under repressive regimes and relive this period in history from a different perspective. It also begs detailed discussion of the separation of church and state. Furthermore, this is a poignant coming-of-age story that all teens will be able to relate to and serves as a testament to the power of family, education, and sacrifice."
"Along with the exceptional storytelling that makes Zeus a fantastic read for anyone, O'Connor includes a family tree, bibliography, and suggested reading. G(r)eek Notes includes panel-by-panel commentary while profiles of key characters give further information. There are also discussion questions suitable for younger readers to spur interest and connection between ancient myth and modern thought. With a combination of an amazing story and an in depth study of mythology, Zeus is a must-read for all."
“In every good hero is an ever better villain,” Joseph Michael Sommers said to an audience of comic lovers Tuesday night. Sommers explained that heroes and villains in graphic novels can sometimes be interrelated.
Soem interesting discussion points for the many students who study heroes and villains in literature.
Experts say every kid should read for at least 15 minutes a day. A University of Windsor professor says comic books are a good way to encourage kids to meet that suggested requirement and keep them reading through adulthood.
Why oh why must comics be touted for the reluctant reader at the expense of recognising their value for readers of all ages and abilities? They have the integrity to stand alone as literary works and should not be considered a mere stepping-stone to something "better." Worth reading the comments for some interesting perspectives on the comics medium.
I work at a comic store. My walls are lined with comics, manga and graphic novels of all shapes and sizes.
These days there are so many graphic novels and comics around, it's great to have recommendations from people on the inside. These recommendations are targetted at younger readers. Many feature female protagonists.
"We took a look at nonprofit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which has a database of frequently challenged comic books and their cases, to highlight (and read!) the following graphic novels that have seen complaints."
Thank heavens that sanity continues to prevail. That said, the selection of graphic novels for school libraries and classrooms needs to be guided by an informed and well-considered set of selection guidelines.
"There are several ways teachers can use comics in the classroom. Makebeliefs (one of my favourite comic resources) has compiled this list of 21 tips to use their comics in the classroom. I have gone through this selection and found it really worth sharing with you. By the way these tips apply to comics obtained from any other resource and not only Makebeliefs."
Dr Mel Gibson "leads a workshop with Year 9 pupils, to increase their awareness of the wide range of comics on offer for boys and girls of all ages. Keen to help the school develop their use of comics and graphic novels in the classroom, she runs a training session with English teachers Lynne Smith and Faye Robinson. We return to the school one month later to assess whether comics have boosted reading in general, and see if they've proved to have real educational value in the classroom."