Information for Educators and Parents
A Case for Graphic Novels: Teaching in the Modern Era
They are all trailblazers in English Language Arts who are bringing their passion for reading to children across America. Each is an outstanding educator in their own right, and have all published successfully and written extensively on the undeniable benefits of using graphic novels as a tool in the classroom.
Unlike traditional texts, graphic novels engage the learner skills of:
The novels also allow teachers to break through the noise created by the digital age this generational cohort faces. A text that’s engaging, visually appealing and funny, will simply be more desirable to read.
Like the quote at the top of the page indicates, if we can be highly engaged through images, how much more so can we be engaged when images and words are combined?
It is because of this that the aforementioned educators are advocating and facilitating the use of graphic novels or full-length comic books in the classroom.
What can graphic novels offer in ways of education that traditional texts cannot?
Laura M. Jiminez, PhD Educational Psychology and Educational Technology writes:
“A graphic novel is a static and sequential book-length narrative in which verbal and nonverbal elements work to support each other, bounded by page and panel, to tell a story impossible to convey using only one or the other.” (Jiménez, 2012)
- Students become more eager to read and improve both their reading ability as well as their analytical skills
- The visual communication of the graphic novel conveys rich grammar and syntax ways other books cannot
Other Benefits offered by Graphic Novels
Student growth is clear within English classrooms that have tested this medium.
It is a great achievement when a school teaches students to read; such achievements are magnified when students are also also taught to observe.
Why Diamond Island?
When creating the Diamond Island graphic novel, we ensured that all the elements of classic literature were present. The book has interesting characters, an appealing plot, a heroic theme, and a powerful closing moral. We knew our goal of creating a well-rounded, classroom-friendly graphic novel was achieved after Diamond Island was reviewed by Dr. Katie Monnin.
What this Means to Educators
Educators today are given the daunting task of competing with the typical distractions of the digital age. It is important to continue to engage young minds while acknowledging changing learning and teaching styles.
Diamond Island presents many teaching opportunities, such as:
- Character analysis and discussion
- Conflict and resolution
- Storyline analysis
The novel’s attractive artwork interacts well with the text, making puns and jokes come alive, improving the overall reading experience.
In general, the mingling of text and illustration is the norm for all graphic novels, however, Diamond Island offers unique material that allows it to stand out from the crowd.
Choosing the right material to use in such a venture can be difficult. Groundbreaking and eye-catching user-friendly works with plots that educate and entertain are essential for success.
Likewise, the book should support the themes and relationships that you wish to develop and study within the classroom. When taught properly, sequential art stories can present the same level of academic and intellectual challenge.