We've discussed at some length on this forum the approaches one can take to introducing visual narrative to students or fellow teachers, and we've also suggested the importance of looking at it as a tradition. This really is a must. Students and educators alike tend to ascribe legitimacy to something that they perceive as part of a larger tradition. If you're wanting to teach the graphic novel in a serious way, then, I'd suggest spending a couple of weeks looking at the following with students.
Begin with a journey through the ancient world of cave art, with as many exciting stops along the way as you can. Even better, get your students to create their own cave art so that they can show themselves the power it must have held for ancient peoples who were desperate to tell their stories.
Make your next stop the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, showing students the beauty and detail that went in to telling stories through symbolic imagery. As well, check out the "Word and Image" activity featured on this site that gives students opportunities to marry the verbal and the visual.
The Bayeux Tapestry
There is simply no way to dispense with showing students the Bayeux Tapestry, a remarkable example of a woven graphic story, created in France as a testament to the events that culminated in the Battle of Hastings. If they don't think it's a comic, you can always show them this!
Stations of the Cross
Many people look at a work of visual narrative every week without even knowing it. A great thing to share with students and fellow colleagues is the many manifestations of the Stations of the Cross, a story told in word and image that has been around for hundreds of years! While you're at it, show them the Wordless Narrative activity featured on our site.
A Rake's Progress
William Hogarth was on to something when he created a series of paintings that tell the story of a young man who wastes a fortune through reckless living. A Rake's Progress is not simply a brilliantly conceived work of art, but a fine example of visual narrative.
Next time we'll start with William Blake and then move into 19th and 20th century examples of visual narrative that can help you to reinforce with students and fellow colleagues its fascinating tradition!
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Of all the series I have worked on, I have a special place in my heart for the 21 volumes of Graphic Poetry. Published by Rubicon / Scholastic, the series went on to win two major awards, including the 2010 Textbook Excellence Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association and the 2011 Teachers' Choice Award from Learning Magazine.
I'm especially fond of one title in the series: Margaret Atwood's "This is a Photograph of Me" and "Girl and Horse, 1928," probably because I teach a unit on Atwood's poetry to Grade 11 students in the IB program at The York School in Toronto.
For the Atwood unit, we study recurring motifs and themes in her poetry, with a culminating assessment that involves students creating a visual piece that speaks to the same motifs and themes we explore in her poetry.
When my student, Kersti, got up to do her presentation, I was exceptionally impressed by how she was able to capture the spirit of "Girl and Horse, 1928" in a wonderful painting she did. Her explanation of the choices she made in putting the piece together were equally impressive.
I have to admit that I was a wee bit pleased with myself for having shown the class the adaptations of Atwood's poetry in the above volume from the Graphic Poetry series. The projects they produced, like Kersti's, were so excellently done and I figured that they were inspired in part by seeing how poetry can be successfully married with visual art.
However, what happened on a subsequent assignment absolutely floored me. Kersti chose to interpret Atwood's "Flying Inside Your Own Body," a poem that discusses the freedom a woman enjoys when she dreams and the rather terrifying reality she inhabits when she awakens. When Kersti stood up, this is what she showed us
"Okay," I thought. "She's managed to capture something of the final part of the poem. The restrictive, claustrophobic, isolating world that women can experience when they wake to discover the dream of flying inside your own body is illusory. "But what about the dream? What about the freedom and the joy that's described at the start of the poem? Where are they?"
Then, to the surprise of everyone, she opened the painting...
That's right... She opened it. And there, inside, was the speaker of Atwood's poem. Kersti's explanation of the choices she made in her interpretation were brilliant--the tattoo, the necklace, the symbolic touches in the background--and students couldn't stop complimenting her on her work.
So, this is why we teach visual narrative in the classroom. This is why we celebrate it...
...And this is why I started a website called Comics in Education.
I've talked about the importance of establishing that visual narrative is a tradition--one that arguably dates back to a period that predates either the oral or written traditions as we know them. However, not everyone is convinced that cave art, Egyptian hieroglyphics, or something like William Hogarth's "A Rake's Progress" is an ancestor of contemporary comics and graphic novels unless they've been fortunate enough to read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. However, as I was shown by Laura McRae from Havergal College at the 2014 CITE Conference, it's pretty hard to argue against the Bayuex Tapestry being such an ancestor!
Take a look at the fantastic animated video Laura showed me that was originally created as a student project at Goldsmiths College. If you can't see the connection between the Bayeux Tapestry and contemporary comics after watching it, I might never be able to convince you that visual narrative has a long and proud tradition.
Thanks for showing me this, Laura!
This is how an artist should travel...
If you haven't read Florent Chavouet's Tokyo on Foot, then you've been missing out on a uniquely rewarding experience. Imagine you're an artist with a gift for sharing your own unique perspective on things, and you find yourself in Tokyo with time on your hands and art materials at your disposal. If you're Chavouet, you end up drawing Tokyo.
But not the stereotypical, Western view of Tokyo as a city of bright lights, Buddhist temples and Karaoke bars....
Instead, imagine that you draw the real Tokyo.
By recording what he sees, from the profound to the mundane, Chavouet does what so many great graphic travel writers do. As with my post the other day on Guy Delisle, Chavouet presents us with an honest, insightful look at the sights and sounds of the place he is visiting, perhaps without even realizing at the time what a profound effect these sights and sounds--and his recording of them--will have on his development as an artist.
You see, it's precisely because Chavouet records everything (i.e. that he doesn't make a judgment or shape Tokyo into merely what he wants or expects it to be) that he is so successful in Tokyo on Foot.
This is precisely the idea we should encourage with our students when they are trying to put their ideas down onto paper in front of them. Tell them that you want to see what they are thinking...really see it. They might just end up giving you something like this.
Thank you, Florent Chavouet.
When It Comes Right Down to It, There's Nothing Like Adam Davidson's "The Lunch Date"
This past year I was inspired by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin's March, Book 1 to consider what the best work of visual narrative or visual media would be to support teaching students about race and race-related issues in the K-12 classroom. For instance, if I were teaching Kathryn Stockett's The Help, or Shakespeare's Othello, or the speeches and writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., what would be the best supporting piece of visual narrative or media I could use? Would it be Prom Night in Mississippi? What about Guess Who's Coming to Dinner or Do the Right Thing?
The answer isn't easy. Lewis and Aydin's book is amazing, as is Mark Long and Jim Demonakos' The Silence of Our Friends. Both of these are exceptionally compelling graphic novels and among the best books of their respective years.
However, if I had to choose, I'd go with a piece I've done so many times with my students: Adam Davidson's 1989 short film, The Lunch Date, winner of the 1990 Short Film Palm D'or and the 1991 Academy Award for Best Short Subject.
I could spend quite a bit of time here explaining to you the brilliance of Davidson's film and what its implications might be for your classroom. Just watch it, however, and be prepared to be absolutely blown away.
One of the most confusing things about comics is the plethora of terms that is used to describe it. I think it’s fair that if we are teaching our students about comics, graphic novels, or visual narratives, we should be clear what we mean by these terms. In English, we’ve traditionally chosen a “funny” word to describe what we’re discussing: comic. The word “comic” has an etymology that goes back to the ancient Greek word for “revel,” and which we use interchangeably either for someone who makes their living telling jokes or for sequential art. Below is a chart that can help us come to terms with some of the basic definitions of the genre.
A visual story told as sequence of drawings or images, either in color or black and white, relating a comic incident, adventure, mystery, or some other manner of narrative. It isoften published in serial form as a sequence of panels and gutters, having dialogue printed in balloons and narration in boxes.
Graphic Novel *
A book made up of comics content that usually features a longer narrative than that found in a comic book. The term is often intended to include fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized collections of single issue comics . It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is used for comics periodicals.
A story that is told primarily through the use of visual media, including still photography, illustration, or video, and which can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.
A term used for art that tells a story or narrative through a sequence or series of images, so a form of art rather than a style. Graphic novels, comics, and cartoons are all sequential art.
A term reserved for Franco-Belgian comics that have their own unique style and history. Literally deriving their name from the idea of “drawn strips,” they do not linguistically contain the idea of something humorous or funny as North American “comics” do.
A genre of cartoons and comic books originating in Japan and popularized by Osamu Tezuka and others whose style and form go back to the 19th century and ultimately derive from traditions in Japanese art.
* Some writers and illustrators of comics take great umbrage at the use of the term “graphic novel,” suggesting that it’s simply a way of dressing up “comics” and making them seem more pretentious than they need to be. Others prefer the term, believing that it specifically refers to comics collected in a longer format with a more literary sensibility akin to what we often find in manga. The important idea, however, is that these terms often contain, touch upon, or overlap one another. Both bande dessinée (like Tintin, Asterix and Obelix, etc.) and manga have their own distinctive styles, with the latter drawing inspiration for its characters from the exaggerated, wide-eyed characters of early 20th century American comic book characters, like Betty Boop.
Film, literature, Graphica, and How They Can Teach Us that Sometimes, the Less Said, the Better
I was reminded this past week that comics, indeed any sort of wordless visual narrative, can teach us how important it is when something is not being said. Now don't get me wrong. I love a good long story. The nearly one thousand pages of Dickens' Bleak House was enthralling for me as a graduate student. The twelve hours or so of the Lord of the Rings trilogy's extended edition was great fun. And I've watched a great number of musicals and plays with a pretty substantial running time and found myself amused, engaged, bewitched, and otherwise entertained from start to finish.
But I'm also reminded of one of my favourite examples of flash fiction--attributed to Ernest Hemmingway though the connection is tenuous at best--that consists of but six words:
Now I don't know if this story has the same impact on you as it had on me the first time I read it, but there is an economy about it that is startling, and so much of the story has been left unsaid that this economy has a profound effect on the reader.
A couple of years ago I had a similar experience when a colleague showed me the short film below. It had won the Phillips Cinema "Tell It Your Way" Competition's Grand Prize. The rules of the competition dictated that the films being submitted could consist of no more than six lines of dialogue, and this submission, The Gift, took home the prize.
If you've never seen this short film before and have now composed yourself after breaking down in tears at the end, we probably have quite a bit in common. This film only needs six lines of dialogue because the visual component of the narrative is so powerful. It is such a clever, well executed, and--as a result--profound piece of film-making.
So what actually got me thinking about narrative economy? Well, not surprisingly, it was a wordless comic book panel drawn by none other than writer and artist, Francesco Francavilla. He was sending it around yesterday and it brought back to mind how powerful an image can be--how much it can actually say--in the absence of words telling me how to interpret it. Here's what he tweeted.
I don't know about you, but this image just sort of sends chills through me. That's usually my reaction to things Francesco draws, but this one is especially so. It reminded me when I saw it of what an economy of words can do, and it should remind educators that those who would suggest that comics and graphic novels are a way of "dumbing down" the reading experiences we give to our students should, if anything, be pitied.
After all, think about what they're missing....
Students read, examine, and create graphic poems, and consider both the implications of using the visual in connection with poetry, and whether an artist or poet/artist can visually represent the intricacies of literal and figurative language. The hope is that students will recognize the beauty of graphic poetry and thereby develop a greater fondness for and appreciation of poetry proper.
Self Awareness, Metacognition, Critical Thinking, Navigation Skills, Making Connections
By the end of the activity, students should see that there is something to be gained and something to be lost in marrying a poem with its graphic illustration. What is gained is a visual context that the reader can use to help him or her understand what is actually happening in a poem. What is also gained is the recognition of what art can and cannot do with pictures in order to mimic or represent the figurative. What is lost, perhaps, is precisely what is lost when the curtain rises for the presentation of play and we see the gradual unfolding of the directorial decisions that will define how the performance in front of us will interpret the stage directions and dialogue of the playwright.
Critical Thinking Questions
Self-Awareness and Metacognition Questions
Navigation Skills and Making Connections Questions
How Can Visual Narrative Foster Inquiry in This Activity
Reading graphic poetry can help students to make sense of some of the complexities of the poems they examine, even if those complexities are what is literally “happening” in a given work. In my experience, though, a student is far more likely to want to bring their critical thinking and inquiry skills to bear on a poem that they believe they understand than one they don’t. As students move through the process of reading, analyzing, and creating graphic poetry, it is essential that teachers encourage students to develop an ongoing dialogue with the work they are studying.
Students create a storyboard or visual narrative that does not contain text. The exercise has wide application, whether in having students block a scene from a work of drama, visually relate the progress of a character’s story from a work of fiction, or visually represent the story of a particular historical moment. The exercise is similar to Activity 3: Visual Note-Taking, but the student is not permitted to use words in order to communicate his or her ideas.
Critical Thinking, Navigation Skills, Making Connections
By the end of the activity, students should perceive the challenges of communicating without words, translating the written or verbal into the visual, and developing a narrative that is comprehensible to their audience when said narrative must be interpreted in the absence of explanation. The aim of the exercise is to develop the student’s communication skills and transliteracy: the ability to demonstrate literacy across a range of platforms or mediums of expression by making meaningful connections between them.
Critical Thinking Questions
How Can Visual Narrative Foster Inquiry in this Activity?
As in the previous activity, students will have a dizzying range of questions that they will have to ask themselves at the outset of the activity: “How do I represent this scene from a play or short story without needing pages and pages of illustration?” or “How can I best capture the most important features of a historical battle in a way that a person examining it can understand?” My inspiration for this activity comes from Hogarth’s “A Rake’s Progress,” which Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics cites, along with hieroglyphics, cave art, etc. as a forerunner to the comics of today. I’ve always been impressed by the fact that little or no text (other than the naming of the individual paintings), the audience has little difficulty perceiving what is happening to the rake. As our global village shrinks and our students are immersed even further into a principally visual culture, being able to communicate with the visual takes on an increasing importance.
Students use a combination of words and images in order to create a visual narrative of a process, sequence, set of instructions, or procedure related to their study within a specific discipline. The instructor can have them create this to show the steps they have taken in a lab, to organize how they will prepare for a set of exams, to reflect on a strategy used in a particular sport or physical activity, or even to explore how they might handle and unfamiliar task.
Self Awareness, Critical Thinking, Navigation Skills
By the end of the activity, students should recognize the extent to which using a combination of words and images can help them to think in non-linear ways about a given task. There is much to be said when it comes to note-taking of breaking things down into a series of written steps, bullet points, or explanations, but going from the intricate web of ideas in a student’s head to the linear is not always easy. The visual note-taking, process description or instruction writing allows them not just to think outside the box, but to put the box aside and just to think.
Critical Thinking Questions
Navigation Skills Questions
How Can Visual Narrative Foster Inquiry in This Activity?
This activity is thinking and inquiry in their purest form—allowing the student to make sense of something without being restricted by the linearity of formal sentence mechanics. If a picture tells a thousand words, and there are a thousand words in the student’s head, do I really want to have them write them all down? The inspiration for the activity comes from the Bayeux Tapestry, a 70 m long woven fabric showing the Battle of Hastings and both what led up to it and what followed. This remarkable medieval comic doesn’t just give us insight into 11th century Anglo-Norman relations, but what the weavers perceived worthy of inclusion, and what they felt they needed to explain or refrain from explaining.
We Salute You!
Comics in Education wanted to take a moment to thank once again for all of the wonderful visitors to our website. We've now officially reached 10,000 of you and more are visiting the site every day. Our mission is to nurture and develop a love of visual narrative in the K-12 classroom, and we're delighted that so many of you out there are as well.
In truth, we expected you would be, but you're doing such wonderful things!
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Comics in Education
Students create a visual representation of an historical figure, famous scientist or thinker, literary character or individual related to the discipline they are studying and use symbolic elements in order to convey something about that character’s personality, mindset, nature, or temperament. Once they have done this, they write a reflection that explains how these symbolic elements help us to better understand the character in question.
Critical Thinking, Metacognition, Making Connections
By the end of the activity, students should understand something about how symbolic language can help us understand the visual representation of a character or individual, how symbolic language is similar to and different from orthographic language, and how words and images can have a genuinely emotive power in a given context.
Critical Thinking Questions
How Visual Narrative Can Foster Inquiry in This Activity
Some critics have argued that graphic novels derive their power from a rather unique quality—their lack of photographic realism. When looking at a photograph, for instance, we are acutely aware that we are only looking at a photograph. We are not witnessing the events taking place or the people affected by them in real time, because the photograph tells us that these things have already happened. In a graphic novel or story, however, things are not so clear. We are more likely to accept that when we see little Marji in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, we are actually looking at a “real person.” The cartoonish nature of the representation has the opposite effect we think it might. Because it’s obviously a cartoon, our minds don’t wrestle with the question of whether it’s the actual character or only his or her representation. So, we don’t tell ourselves that this line drawing isn’t really Marjane Satrapi. We just accept that it is.
The activities that follow will be permanently housed on our site. Feel free to use, reuse, and distribute, tailoring specifically for your own curriculum, grade level, or program!
Students create a piece of visual art that shows a day in their life in the manner of a cave drawing. It is up to the individual student to determine how much or how little they represent, how much of their canvas they apportion to a particular moment or event, and how they use colour, shape, and form to represent their activities or experiences. Once they have completed the piece of visual art, students then produce a written reflection in which they try to explain not simply what they have represented, but the process by which they came to represent it.
Self Awareness, Critical Thinking, Metacognition
By the end of the activity, students should come to understand something about how they have represented themselves and their activities and experiences, how they have chosen to budget their visual space to this end, how they have gone about deciding what to include and what not to include, and what their piece of visual art does and does not say about them.
Critical Thinking Questions
How Can Visual Narrative Foster Inquiry in This Activity?
Because students are creating a product that is ostensibly about them, that they generally care about, and that they are given a fair bit of freedom to put together, they tend to do a good job reflecting on what they have produced. However, the real power of the activity for me derives from what I learned this year from a student who was giving a presentation after engaging in a very similar activity. When asked to what extent the final amalgamation of images represented him, the student replied that he didn’t think it much represented him at all.
“However,” he said, “if people could have seen the process I went through deciding what to include and what not to include—how I put everything together—they would have learned everything about me.”
Visual narrative and visual storytelling show us so much about what a writer and illustrator are thinking, feeling, seeing, and trying to articulate—what they value as a story and what they want us to see and experience.
When it comes to comics and the broader tradition of visual narrative, it is incumbent upon educators to teach students about the genre and its history. If we talk to students about how poetry developed from an oral tradition, or about the resurgence of the drama during themiddle ages, we must also talk to them about how sequential art has evolved over time. We must treat the genre with the same degree of seriousness with which treat other genres, because not doing so would be to suggest that there is something nobler or far more worthy of our consideration in poetry or in drama than in visual narrative.
That, however, is rubbish.
Great works of literature are great because they merit such distinction--not because they happen to be of one particular genre and not another. We don't look down our nose at War and Peace because it's a novel and not poetry. We don't think less of King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" because it's "only a letter."
Visual narrative is a genre worthy of study, both for ourselves and for our students. Comics in Education (www.comicsineducation.com) is dedicated to proving that.
Word Origins Can Be Graphic
If that is indeed the case, and I'm fairly confident it is, it's foolish not to capitalize on the inherent usefulness of the visual. So, the next time you're studying word etymologies with your students, consider having them create visual etymologies. This is great as both a collaborative activity or as an individual one. Do it, and you might just give your lesson a bit of swag.
You absolutely rock!
Comics in Education would like to thank the thousands of visitors to its website in only its first week of operation. We wanted to let you know that we have a new page up on the site called "Our Supporters" under the "About" tab. If you are doing great work in the field of comics in education, want to celebrate visual narrative and the impact it has on popular culture, or hope to promote the great work you're doing in the comics industry, please consider sending us a message on Twitter or through our contacts page and we'll put a link to you and your work as a thank you for visiting our site!
If it sounds like free advertising, well...I guess it is!
Comics in Education wants earnestly to promote the use of visual narrative in the K-12 classroom, and for that we need an industry that is dynamic and receptive to the needs of all readers, from those who are young to those who are young at heart. Fortunately, we seem to have just that!
Thanks everyone for all your support!
Comics in Education
...it takes a school to nurture in them an appreciation for visual narrative.
Some K-12 educators that I meet on the conference circuit express concern about the lack of support they receive from their fellow colleagues, department heads, or school administrators when it comes to using comics and graphic novels in the classroom. This always dismays me a little bit because I know how important it is to have colleagues and administrators who are encouraging and even enthusiastic about what you're trying to do.
Before you start teaching visual narrative in the classroom then, it's important to have discussions with all the stakeholders at your school about how the institution does or does not celebrate the visual. I've walked into lots of high schools where the hallways are devoid of student creativity and expression, but I almost never walk into a kindergarten classroom without being blown away by how much wonderful, crazy stuff is on the walls.
You'll notice that there's no shortage of the visual in the images that follow. I teach at a school that celebrates student creativity in a way that never fails to impress a comics person like myself. Here are some images that I shared at a recent conference, where I talked about the importance of making visual storytelling and artistic expression a living, breathing part of school culture.
You see, it takes a school...
This is what you need to have at your school in order to create the lasting conditions for a successful appreciation, understanding, and love for the visual! It hardly makes sense to talk to your students about the importance of studying comics and graphic novels, and then have them walk out into a hallway in which there is nothing to look at.
I'd love to know what you think about this, and please don't forget to take a moment and answer our poll question!
Chaney also gets into the whole idea of how we tend to process cartoonish representations of the human form in a different way than we would still photography. Photography suggests an image captured in the a past that no longer exists. We know that something in a photograph is not happening to the person "in the here and now" because the photo had to have been previously taken. However, Satrapi's cartooning shows us a character that we, as readers, are willing to believe is in "the present" of the narrative. This is such an insightful idea and one that can generate really excellent discussions with students.
Chaney's talk and the ideas it raises also allow for a lot of cross-polination depending on the other writers your students are studying. For example, Margaret Atwood's poetry is filled with references to the problematic nature of photography: how photographs capture an instant in time, but don't tell us what happened to the subject in the time before or the time since the click of the camera's shutter. Think, for instance of "This is a Photograph of Me" or "Girl and Horse, 1928." Satrapi also focuses on photographs as a visual record, with a memorable full-page panel of her father taking photos of the violence, and other panels in which a character is looking at a photograph from the past and pointing out something about it.
Chaney's talk, then, is a wonderful starting point for such discussions. Be sure to check it out!
(c) 2014, Catherine Paap, published with the artist's permission at www.comicsineducation.com.
The next time you're having a disagreement with someone about the importance of visual narrative in the classroom, just send them to this post. What you're looking at here is a wonderful example of how visual note-taking--the kind of note-taking inspired by visual narrative--can have a tremendous impact in the classroom. In a recent IB English class at The York School in Toronto, I had my students engage in a visual note-taking exercise. Usually, when we're writing, it makes sense to be fairly linear. Essays tend to be linear, articles tend to be linear, and any kind of formal writing that doesn't involve someone like Borges, Calvino, or Cortazar is going to be pretty linear.
Our minds, however, are not linear.
Visual note-taking allows us to put down on the page our thoughts and ideas in a way that isn't linear. It therefore serves as a bridge between how we think and what we want to say. Those of you out there who burn the midnight oil making comics probably already know this. When you were in school, your teachers probably asked you to stop doodling on more than one occasion.
But doodling is crucial.
In the above piece, my student, Catherine, is using visual note-taking in order to draw connections between Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. Some students went with flowchart structures, others chose mind maps, but most of the students, regardless of artistic skill, opted for the visual and the symbolic. Catherine's artistic skills are exceptional, but more importantly, they allowed her to express her exceptional thinking skills.
And that just totally rocks.
At the 2014 Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto, I mentioned an activity to participants that struck them as being a new idea in teaching the graphic novel. Here's what I said:
"We should teach kids how the form and structure of a graphic novel is related to the form and structure of other genres they might read in a junior or middle school classroom. However, we need to go beyond just having students create a graphic story out of a chapter or scene from a traditional novel. Probably the coolest exercise you can do with a group of students is to have them turn the pages of a graphic novel into a traditional narrative. The advantage of this is that it forces students to think far more about traditional narrative and about how very complicated it can be for a writer to use only words to represent the simplest ideas or concepts."
A number of participants remarked afterwards that they wanted to try this activity right away and inquired about good starting points in terms of choosing a graphic novel that would lend itself well to such an activity. I gave them some of my own suggestions (Persepolis, Watchmen, Maus, The Silence of Our Friends, Are You My Mother?), but for the benefit of those who might be taking a look at this post, I'd love comments from experienced comics educators who have either done this activity with their students or who have a suggestion about a great comic or graphic novel that would work well.
Thanks in advance, and see you next time!
Welcome to Comics in Education, a new site devoted to advancing the use, understanding, and appreciation of comics and graphic novels in the K-12 classroom. Motivated by the insightful questions and great feedback I received from the 2014 Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto, I was inspired to get this site up and going.
Comics in Education is a work in progress, but things are progressing well and I hope to have it fully functional in short order. Because this site is for teachers, students, school administrators, curriculum specialists, educational publishers, library professionals, academics, and for folks within and outside of the comics industry, I welcome as much feedback and as many suggestions as you can send my way. Updates are coming soon to the "Classroom" tab, and there'll be a lot more on the website in the days ahead. Thanks for dropping by and check back again soon for the updates.
Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.
If you've found this site useful and would like to donate to Comics in Education, we'd really appreciate the support!