Graphic Novels

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mathmagic, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Feb 27, 2018

    Does anyone else slowly "hide" these books away (i.e. put them in a closet, but still have them available if a kid asks for one) throughout the year?

    Partly due to space in my library, but also because I have found that students tend to gravitate back to graphic novels instead of trying out new genres and series. In other words, I'm hoping by not having it pop out right in front of them, they'll instead aim for a wider variety of books.

    I'm all for graphic novels -- many are wonderfully done (the Amulet series is particularly great) -- but feel it acts too much as a crutch for some of the kiddos.
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    My students are super into graphic novels right now. One student reads one, tells their friends about it, and then the book is getting passed around from kid to kid. Usually the books (even the big ones) are read in a day or two.

    I don't mind it. They're talking about books with each other, practicing comprehension skills, and getting excited about reading. Eventually they'll start expanding their reading choices and find other genres they enjoy.

    When I was an elementary student, I read everything, adult fiction included, and I read constantly. When I was in about sixth grade, I found the Magic Tree House series, and read a lot of them. If an adult or teacher had told me not to read them because they were too easy, I'd have been frustrated with that. Sometimes high readers enjoy easy books too. My students are exposed to other genres in our class lessons, so I don't worry if they get hooked on graphic novels or another genre during their free reading time.
     
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  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I feel like if they're reading, they're reading...
     
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  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Most of my students read Night in middle school, even though it's part of our 9th grade textbook. So this year, we are reading Maus instead. Most of my students choose graphic novels for independent reading. Most of my students will end up taking the WorkKeys test senior year, and graphic literacy is a huge component of the score. I don't care what they read, as long as they read.
     
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  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    One of our curriculum expectations, at every grades, refers to reading a variety of texts, including graphic texts. I do a mini graphic novel/comic unit when we have a couple of short weeks in a row. Some kids love them and some hate them; I think it's all about balance.
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I agree that balance is important, and that reading is definitely reading. I think it's also important that they're growing as readers though, which means not only being able to analyze the text in different ways, but broadening the styles of books / genres that they can successfully read.

    My message to my kids isn't that they can't read graphic novels (or for some, the fantasy genre ;)), but rather that I want them to challenge themselves. I had a kiddo last year who tended to read relatively (compared to her ability) simple texts. I never told her what she could/couldn't read, but worked on guiding her to new options and helping her see the importance of reading at a variety of complexities. She ended up reading about 100 books, 1.5 million words, and looking at the book history at the end of the year, there was a clear maturing / growth of herself as a reader.

    Same with this year: a kiddo absolutely loved graphic novels, tending to read a certain author time and time and time again. We looked at some other genres, talked about some topics she might like within those genres, and there hasn't been a "true" graphic novel since...the book choice has been incredibly varied. This is someone who already reads at a much higher level, but simply hadn't built in the confidence to break away from just graphic novels.

    In essence, I've sorta jumped from initially hating graphic novels (beginning of my career), to embracing them fully (a couple years ago / last year), to this year, where I'm realizing that it seems to be vital, for their growth as readers and as writers, to separate enough to where it's a part of their reading, but not all, nor majority of their reading. (As others mentioned, I love the step-ups from graphic novels -- such as the Frank Einstein series -- where it still includes some diagrams/a handful of pictures, but the words go beyond just dialogue and basic few-word descriptions -- those have been mightily helpful for those who seemed to be "addicted" to graphic novels)
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    There are also some great graphic novels out there that can bridge the gap to higher level fiction. I've seen classic novels like The Odyssey (https://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-Gareth-Hinds/dp/0763642681/) made into graphic novels that could be a stepping stone to other genres.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'd vote for Ursula Vernon's Digger BEING higher level fiction.
     
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  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm planning on using them actively for my summer school project on classic horror novels.
     
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  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Perhaps in addition to the previously mentioned variety, I think it's also an element of building that attention span. Many of my kiddos who were stuck to graphic novels also tended to have shorter attention spans. Again, not worried at all about the particular level of the text -- there's great graphic novels that are simpler, more complex, etc..., but rather about their ability to stick with a longer text and formulate that visual in their own mind.
    I'll have to check this out! Love to add high-quality graphic novels to our library.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    The popular novel, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, just came out as a graphic novel recently.
     
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  13. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    I teach struggling readers (all are 2+ years below grade level) and if I told them no graphic novels I would lose many of them. I have one that has read multiple Shakespeare stories that have been done in graphic novel form and he just wants to read more! This is a kid that in September never wanted to pick up a book at all! I am in my final semester of my reading master's program and working on my thesis all around motivating struggling readers and there is a lot of research on the benefits of graphic novels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019

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