When I (yiola) first began teaching (in 2008) I asked student teachers if they knew about graphic novels. The response was that few students were familiar with the genre or how and why it may benefit learning in the classroom. With each passing year more and more student teachers indicate they are familiar with graphic novels and more and more student teachers recognize the genre inside classrooms.
Some use the term graphic novels interchangeably with comics with others differentiate the two as distinct styles. In either case there are strong arguments for why the graphic novel is a powerful genre for literacy development.
I introduce student teachers to David Booth’s book “In Graphic Detail” and I share the graphic novel “In a Class of her Own” to demonstrate how critical literacy and language acquisition can be developed in meaningful and interesting ways.
The sharing of the graphic novel as a useful genre in the classroom is a highlight in my course. Many student teachers become inspired to use graphic novels once they are introduced to why they are effective and how to use them in a classroom setting.
Please share any great graphic novel titles that you know to be outstanding.