Three Great GNs for Teaching Literature in Context
This coming year, I've decided to do something rather bold. Now to me it doesn't seem bold, but no doubt some of my fellow IB educators will feel otherwise.
For 2014-15, I've decided to replace each of our current texts for the Literature in Translation unit in the Language A: Literature course at The York School with graphic novels from the PLT (Prescribed Works of Literature in Translation).
Those of you who love graphic novels and want an opportunity to teach them in a context other than in Unit 4 (The Options Unit) can do so in Unit 1. For those who are teaching the Language A course in English, there are currently four graphic novels you can choose from:
I won't be teaching these graphic novels until January 2015, but I can hardly wait. Although the contexts of these works are naturally all different (Aya, for instance, deals with growing up in the 70s in The Ivory Coast while Persepolis obviously deals with the Iranian Revolution in 1979), I think it's cool for students to have the graphic novel format as a consistent thread throughout the unit. The visual also gives them something else to focus on that is textual rather than contextual, an important feature for the Literature in Translation Paper that serves as the summative assessment for this unit.
If you're an IB Educator for Language A: Literature, let me know what works you're planning to do for the Literature in Translation unit. Depending on your titles, I can point you in the direction of some graphic works that might help to facilitate your students' understanding!
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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.
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