Andrew Miller, Edutopia, January 11, 2012
"Here are some specific strategies to ponder as you select a graphic novel or comic to read, or as you consider how students might create their own. Thinking about them will help you focus your purpose in your instruction. All of them are useful, as long as the purpose is clear to the teacher and the learner.
"1) A Tool to Differentiate Instruction
"Graphic novels and comics can be a great way to differentiate instruction for learners in terms of reading and also in terms of assessment.
"3) Assess Student Learning
"PBL calls for the creation of authentic products that are useful and credible to the group. You can have students create comics or graphic novels, or components of them, as a useful formative assessment tool to check for understanding of important content. If used as a summative assessment, the comic could be made to combat bullying, such as the suggestion Suzie Boss made in an earlier post. Make the graphic novel or comic a product that students create to meet a need. Don't just make it a regurgitation of knowledge. Instead, give it an authentic purpose.
"There are many other purposes for graphic novels in the classroom, from looking at different cultures and backgrounds to utilizing technology in authentic ways. Just make sure you select the graphic novel or comic with a clear purpose in mind. Perhaps you have multiple purposes, as there are many instructionally sound purposes out there."
"I will leave you with some favorite graphic novels and comics that I've used in my classroom! Trust me, I have read plenty more than this list!
- "Persepolis, a memoir of a girl growing up during the Islamic revolution in Iran, was recently made into a motion picture.
- "Maus, a top favorite for many, explores themes of the Holocaust through a memoir characterized by mice and cats.
- "American Born Chinese is the tale of three characters: Jin Wang, the only Chinese-American in the neighborhood; Chin-Kee, the ultimate Chinese stereotype; and the Monkey King, ancient fable character."