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.
Think Earth is a non-profit organization that helps communities maintain a sustainable environment through education. I am fortunate to be working with a talented team of educators and writers to update the Think Earth Environmental Education Curriculum for the 21st century.
We have revised the K-3 curriculum, including teacher guides and student materials, and made them available online so that teachers around the world can access the units for free at www.thinkearth.org/curriculum. We are currently working on the units for grades 4–8 and expect to have those online by the end of 2017.
I have also been involved in the redesign and relaunch of the Think Earth Foundation website, marketing and publicity for the new curriculum, and management of the Foundation’s social media presence.
One of the most challenging projects I have managed is a series of books on using Google Earth to teach math, science, social studies, and language arts. Using Google Earth: Bring the World into Your Classroom, by NASA scientist JoBea Holt, earned a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of American Publishers, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished.
Our team put a great deal of effort and time into creating lessons and instructions that enable classroom teachers to use the highly complex and powerful Google Earth program to engage students’ curiosity and leverage technology to teach content. My greatest challenge was editing complex directions into clear, easy-to-follow procedures illustrated with multiple screenshots so that no matter teachers’ familiarity with the program they could use Google Earth with their students.
Click each book cover to see a preview.
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.
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. This document is a summary of the latest research and rationale supporting the use of comics in education.
Click here to download a one-page overview of the educational strengths of the comics medium.
Click here to download a summary of research supporting the use of comics in education.
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.