Graphic novels are rapidly gaining in popularity with students, as well as with librarians and teachers. The quality and choices of graphic novels available for the classroom are rich and diverse. Did you know that both Newbery and Caldecott honors have been awarded to graphic novels? Comics are "real" reading!
Teachers are beginning to see that research and practice support the use of graphic novels in the classroom. Comics and graphic novels:
I created "Graphic Novels are Elementary!" to help teachers and librarians make the most of graphic novels in the elementary grades. All of these resources are available in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Many teachers would like to use graphic texts in their classrooms, but need to convince their administrators of the value these complex texts can provide in instruction and learning, and how they can be used to address Common Core State Standards. I created a presentation for San Diego Comic-Con in which specifically and thoroughly addresses this issue.
The Common Core State Standards lay out specific guidelines about “text complexity,” and graphic novels are mentioned specifically within the range of text types for grade 5 and grades 6-12.
“Integrating Comics into the Common Core” shows how graphic texts meet CCSS text complexity requirements, including levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands, with specific examples of each from some of the best graphic texts available. Click below to download a PDF version of this resource.
Through Reading With Pictures curriculum services, I create teacher's guides for Andrews McMeel's amp! Comics for Kids line to help teachers get the most out of these kid-favorite comics in the classroom. Titles include:
All of my teacher's guides for AMP! Kids graphic novels are available free at http://www.ampkids.com/guides.
Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter, published by Andrews McMeel, is a groundbreaking work which proves, once and for all, that comics belong in the classroom. The book features comics specifically designed to teach math, science, social studies, and language arts to students in grades 3–6.
In addition to working as one of the editors on this book, I edited the extensive teacher guide and wrote many of the lessons.
You can purchase Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter here, and download the free teachers guide.
One of the questions I get the most from teachers and parents is, “But how do I find graphic novels for my kids?” Below are a few title lists that I hope you will find helpful. Please feel free to share!
ALA and Eisner Award-Winning Titles
A list of American Library award nominees and winners, including Caldcotts and Newberys, that are in graphic novel or prose/graphic novel hybrid formats, as well as a list of Eisner Award winners in the categories for "younger readers" and teens/YA. The Eisners are like of the Oscars of comics.
Comics in the Content Areas
A fairly comprehensive list, broken out by school level, of comics/graphic novels for teaching science, math, and history/social studies, as well as folktales & myths, business & economics, biographies, books about making and understanding comics, and books about using comics in education.
Graphic Novels with Female Leads
I'm often asked by parents and teachers for graphic novels with strong female leads for their daughters to read. Boys should read all of these as well -- they're great for everyone!
Tracy's Graphic Novel Recommendations
A list of the books that I love and that I know kids love. One side of the list is for younger readers (up to about age 8), all of which are also great for older readers, and the other side of the list is for ages 8+. There are old favorites in here, as well as some you may never have seen before. Have fun reading!
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for more graphic novel classroom resources!
Tracy Edmunds is an educational consultant specializing in curriculum development, project and online management, editing, and writing.