Worth A Thousand Words: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Visual and Verbal Literacy

Worth A Thousand Words: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Visual and Verbal Literacy

by Meryl Jaffe, Talia Hurwich


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Use graphic novels to teach visual and verbal literacy

While our kids today are communicating outside the classroom in abbreviated text bursts with visual icons, teachers are required to teach them to critically listen, think, and read and write complex texts. Graphic novels are a uniquely poised vehicle we can use to bridge this dissonance between student communication skills and preferences with mandated educational goals.

Worth a Thousand Words details how and why graphic novels are complex texts with advanced-level vocabulary, and demonstrates how to read and analyze these texts. It includes practical advice on how to integrate these books into both ELA and content-area classrooms and provides an extensive list of appropriate graphic novels for K-8 students, lesson suggestions, paired graphic/prose reading suggestions, and additional resources for taking these texts further.

  • Provides research to back up why graphic novels are such powerful educational tools
  • Helps you engage diverse student learners with exciting texts
  • Shows you how to make lessons more meaningful
  • Offers advice on implementing new literary mediums into your classroom

Perfect for parents and teachers in grades K-8, Worth a Thousand Words opens up an exciting new world for teaching children visual and verbal literacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119394327
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/27/2018
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,248,873
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

MERYL JAFFE, PHD, is an educational consultant, teacher mentor, and an instructor at The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, where she teaches critical reading and visual literacy to talented middle school students worldwide. Her passion for using, reading, and integrating graphic novels into curricula has given rise to her online column "Using Graphic Novels in Education" as well as the booklet Raising a Reader! How Comics and Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read!, published with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

TALIA HURWICH is a former Middle School language teacher, and assistant librarian at a private school in New York City, as well as a former ELA instructor and curriculum mentor with The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She is currently a doctoral candidate at NYU, researching graphic novels, games, and multimedia in the classroom and their effect on students' literacies.

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Table of Contents

Notes of Thanks vii

Preface ix

About the Authors xi

1 Graphic Novels: Fears and Facts 1

Fears 1

Facts 4

How and Where to Find Graphic Novels 8

Moving Forward: Using this Book to Help You Read and Integrate Graphic Novels into Your Curricula 9

2 Why Use Graphic Novels? Why Now? 11

Graphic Novels Improve and Enhance Teaching Methods 11

Graphic Novels Motivate All Kinds of Readers and Learners 17

Responding to the Naysayers: The Complex History of Graphic Novels and Why Now Is the Time to Use Them 19

References 21

3 Foundational Skills in Graphic Novels, Part 1: Reading Pictures 25

Visual Literacy: Teaching How to Critically Read an Image 26

This Assessment: Understanding What to Expect Developmentally 31

Teaching Visual Literacy Skills to Your Students 33

Moving On 37

4 Foundational Skills in Graphic Novels, Part 2: How to Teach Graphic Novels 39

The Anatomy of a Graphic Novel: Panels 41

The Anatomy of a Graphic Novel: Narrative, Text, and Thought Balloons 45

Gutters 49

Putting This All Together and Taking a Page for a Spin 51

Taking These Basics Further 56

5 Motivation 59

Getting to Know Your Students 59

Are Your Students Comfortable Taking Risks? 60

Are Your Students Artistic? 65

Leveraging Collaboration and Group Work 70

Leveraging Student Affinities 71

6 Using Graphic Novels to Teach Reading 75

Addressing the Challenges of Integrating Graphic Novels into Your Reading Curriculum 75

Using Graphic Novels for Reading Instruction 82

Graphic Novels and Literary Devices 96

Graphic Novels and Character Development 102

7 Graphic Novels and the Writing Process 107

Using Graphic Novels to Teach Writing Prose Fiction 108

Using Graphic Novels to Teach Writing Prose Nonfiction 114

Writing Graphic Novels 124

8 Graphic Novels and Content-Area Curriculum 131

Reasons for Using Graphic Novels in Your Math Classroom 131

Reasons for Using Graphic Novels in Your Social Studies Classroom 138

Reasons for Using Graphic Novels in Your Science Classroom 144

9 Final Words 151

Where We’ve Come From 151

Where We’re Heading 151

Where We May Continue Together 152

Appendix A: Guidelines and Resources to Support Your Reading and Graphic Novel Choices 153

Appendix B: Resources for Creating and Using Graphic Novels in Your Classroom 155

For Making Comics and Graphic Novels 155

For Creating Storyboards 156

Additional Links and Resources 156

Index 157

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