Graphic Novels in the Language Arts Classroom
Spencer Schaffner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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
It will be fun.