Graphic Novels Resources

Thank you Steve Schmidt (our reading/writing moderator)  for summarizing our graphic novels in the adult education classroom event! 

Hi Everyone,

Our April community event focused on using graphic novels in the adult education classroom. Graphic novels, “book length sequential art narrative featuring an anthology-style collection of comic art, a collection of reprinted comic book issues comprising a single story line (or arc) or an original, stand-alone graphic narrative,” are increasingly popular (Carter, 2014). Graphic novels have numerous benefits for students including providing background knowledge and allowing for improved text analysis. Vivid illustrations bring longer and less accessible works to life in readers’ minds. Graphic novels give instructors a way to scaffold comprehension, vocabulary, and writing activities for their students. 

Suggested activities to use with graphic novels include:

  • Make-A-Title: Students work in pairs to create a title for a panel
  • Add-A-Panel: Students expand a panel storyline with their own panels and words 
  • Fill-it-Up: Students create dialogue and captions with deleted text.
  • Scripting: In pairs, students read wordless panels and create oral and written scripts. 
  • Missing Panel: Students replace missing panels with their own creations
  • Panel Detectives: Students investigate a wide range of issues represented in a selected panel
  • Time Traveler: Students research social issues using comics or graphic novels from various eras
  • Act it Out: Students act out their favorite panel 
  • Character Interview: Students choose a character, research the character, and then collectively play the part of that character as they respond to interview questions.

Source: Lizelena Iglesias, Graphic Novels in the Adult Education Classroom PowerPoint

A variety of resources were shared before the event by Jennifer Gagliardi including:

Teaching with Comics and Graphic Novels – This US State Department resource includes webinars and lesson plans 

The Federal Trade Commission has fotonovelas that describe scams targeting the Latino community which are available in Spanish too. 

We Speak NYC has picture study guides for its episodes that include vocabulary and practice activities. 

The Center of Cartoon Studies has civics, health care, and literacy graphic novels and would be appropriate for more advanced ELA learners. 

CLINIC has Miguel’s Naturalization Interview, a realistic look at the USCIS Naturalization Interview.   

Jennifer also recommends "Chalk Talk" by Norma Shapiro or "Action English Pictures" by Maxine Frauman-Prickel. "In these resources, students write in response to a sequence to simple drawings. They help ELA students transition from writing simple single sentences to writing multi-paragraph stories." 

Thanks again Jennifer Gagliardi for contributing all the above resources!