Encouraging 7th grader to graduate from comics

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Ram, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. Ram

    Ram Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2021

    Hi,

    I have a 7th grader who will immersively read comics and ask intelligent questions. But has no interest reading books that are low of pictorial content. What strategies would you recommend to help nudge him to graduate out of comics?

    Following are some of the series He is very interested in:
    - Adventures of Tintin by Herge
    - The Adventures of Asterix by René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo
    - Blake & Mortimer series
    - The Bluecoats

    TIA.
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Sep 20, 2021

    I'm not sure why it's problematic for a student to read graphic novels if they're just for the student's own personal reading. Graphic novels come in a range of complexity and amount of text. I don't recognize the ones you've listed besides "Adventures of Tintin" so I don't know how much text is in them, but it sounds like the student is thoroughly engaged in his book choices and thinking deeply about what he's reading.

    Unless his graphic novels are also preventing him from reading any required books for class, let the kid read what he wants. Graphic novels are a completely valid book choice, they're not "less" of books just because they have pictures in them.
     
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  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The OP mentioned comics. They might not have meant graphic novels, which would be a better choice than comics.
    If the student will only read comics then moving on to graphic novels will be a good start. Then they can move on to regular books. If it's a matter of state standards then they shouldn't be allowed to read comics in place of what the other students are reading.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Is it just for leisure that he is reading comics?
     
  6. Ram

    Ram Rookie

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    From your (miss-m) suggestion, maybe graphic novels with more complexity are the way to go for him. Would you recommend any resources that would rate graphic novels by their complexity?

    Regarding required books: His engagement with required books requires a lot of improvement. Among others, this lack of enthusiasm reflects in his book reports. They are under par (undeveloped sentence structure, vocabulary, etc...). I am hoping if he is exposed to literature with advanced grammar, it would help him improve.

    ps: Should have replied instead. Sorry :-(
     
  7. Ram

    Ram Rookie

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    Yes, He is reading comics for leisure.

    The issue shows up in school work though.
     
  8. Ram

    Ram Rookie

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    Graphic novels suggestion is great. Will try it. Thank you.
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Ram likes this.
  10. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Sep 20, 2021

    There are many classic stories that have been adapted into the comic/graphic novel format. There is an "Anne of Green Gables" version styled as a manga; "Frankenstein" with a gothic, Tim Burton-y illustration style, "The Odyssey" with watercolor comics, and a graphic novel version of "To Kill a Mockingbird". Those would all be options if his comprehension level is high.
    There are also fully illustrated editions of the "Harry Potter" series that are quite popular with younger readers. I'm not sure all of them have been released yet.
     
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  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That's great. I had no idea there were so many classics. I think as long as it's still on grade level they would be at least encouraging the student to read.
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I understand looking to encourage more difficult reading, but are you sure he has the ability? Having the ability to ask intelligent questions when the words are backed up by visual material and predictable story lines does not mean he has the ability to read and comprehend other text.

    It may not be solely a lack of enthusiasm at work given his lack-luster writing ability. Are his "book reports" about the comics high quality with grade level complexity and vocabulary?
    This points to a deeper issue than lack of enthusiasm.

    I agree that reading content that is not robust in complex sentence structure and vocabulary can impact reading growth, but until you know his reading and writing levels, being pushed into graphic novels that may be above his ability may backfire. I suggest finding out his reading level first and then suggesting graphic novels that are slightly above his reading level.
     
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  13. Ram

    Ram Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2021

    Makes sense. Will find out the reading level first.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    This is definitely step one. Without knowing the reading level, you are making blind choices. I don't remember if you noted whether or not this student may be classified or not, but the testing required to determine the reading level may indicate if there are some learning deficits or delays at work which may entitle this student for additional support going forward. Sometimes boys are just considered "not engaged" when, in truth, they have learning disabilities or delays. Sometimes there is parental resistance to testing and labels, but by the same token, some parents feel that something is wrong, but they just can't identify it on their own, and help is welcomed.
     
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  15. North Fork

    North Fork New Member

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    I was not into comics at that age. Or any age. Except MAD magazine; I did read that but not too often. I liked books about Astronomy better!

    Anyway, I highly recommend the series of books called Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Fun to read and very well-written. I have over 20 volumes.
     
  16. K J

    K J New Member

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    Oct 13, 2021

    One thing that seems to help my students expand their reading genres is giving them choices within guidelines. I have done book reports in the past where they can choose the genre one month and then I choose it the next month. I always tell them "They don't know what they don't know". Also don't ruin a good book with a lengthy assignment or report.

    I have also taken the time to find out they types of stories they like and then read with them. Often the assignment to read an entire book is intimidating but if it is chunked or the teacher reads with the student until they are "hooked" they are able to see reading as possible and even enjoyable. Here is a link to an article that might help with getting your student to read: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/things-to-say-when-your-child-says-i-hate-reading/
     

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