Author: Ryan Novak
Product Code: 1071
ISBN: 978-1-61821-107-1
Pages: 175
Availability: In stock.


Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom describes different methods teachers may use to begin teaching graphic literature to new readers. The first chapter of the book is dedicated to the history of the medium and runs from the earliest days of comic books through the growing popularity of graphic novels. It includes profiles of early creators and the significance of certain moments throughout the history that chart the evolution of graphic literature from superheroes to award-winning novels like Maus. Chapters 2–8 focus on different genres and include an analysis and lessons for 1–2 different novels, creator profiles, assignments, ways to incorporate different media in connection with each book, chapter summaries, discussion questions, and essay topics. Chapter 9 is the culminating project for the book, allowing students to create their own graphic novel, with guidance from the writing process to creating the art.

Grades 7–12

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(based on 4 reviews)

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by Melissa Everett
on 4/15/2014
from Los Angeles, CA
English Instructor, YULA Boys High School
Novak's book contains many ready-to use ideas and assignments that appeal to a broad range of students.  I teach at an all-boys high school, and while the topics and discussions in the book engage students of both genders, I find they are of high interest to my male students.  Younger students--especially struggling readers and writers--love the more personal assignments found in the the section on the teenage experience (family history, my personal ghost world, etc.).  My older students have benefitted greatly from using these same assignments as they take on the personas of literary figures we are studying (Beowulf, Antigone, etc.).  At the end of the year, I plan to use the "Literary Justice League" project as a culminating assignment in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade classes.  I look forward to incorporating more of Novak's assignments in my plans next year and to having students complete their own graphic novels.
by Michael Frizell
on 3/26/2014
from Missouri
Works in Higher Ed, too!
	Though Ryan Novak’s whimsical and intelligent book, Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom, is intended for use in high schools as it aligns with the common core standards, I believe institutions of higher education may find the book useful and informative. Teachers teaching graphic novels as literature is on the rise, and comic books are enjoying a renaissance in popularity thanks to the dominance of superhero movies at the box office. While recognizing the super-heroic roots of the medium, Novak divides the book in a smart way that ultimately makes the book required reading for those interested in the genre.
	The first chapter of the book is dedicated to history, describing the dawn of the medium as it matured into graphic fiction and nonfiction, profiling the experts of the craft while cementing their legacies in the formation of this burgeoning field. Chapters two through eight focus on the varied genres inherent in graphic fiction, describing the superhero, fantasy, science fiction, manga, fiction, biography/memoir, and the teenage experience angles of writing graphic literature. The chapters take the form of a workbook, allowing guided practice in the various genres that the writing consultants of any Writing Center would find valuable while instructors will find assistance in engaging reluctant readers. The clever illustrations, drawn with heavy pen by Zachary Hamby, engage the reader and offer clear demonstration of the craft. 
	Graphic novels are often dismissed, their relevance in the classroom thought of as “less than” when compared to other forms of literature. I find that somewhat dismaying. This combination of literature and artistic expression could aid visual learners in picturing a moment, thus strengthening their ability to visualize what they read. In the preface, Novak writes that Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom is “a textbook that presents a wide array of graphic novels as they deserve to be presented…as literature to be read and discussed.” I can’t agree more, especially when it comes to those in the biography and memoir category. 
	On the surface, such a book many be seen as fitting with the mission of a learning center. Indeed, there may be those of you reading this that feel graphic novels have no place in academia. Colleagues have stated that the teaching of a comic book is more proof we are dumbing down course content. I urge you to look at the class offerings at your home institution. You will find that graphic novels are being taught in the English department, the education department, the art department, and more. The act of writing a script for a comic book is akin to playwriting or screenwriting, and genre writers use Writing Center’s as frequently as academic writers. If you find the act of writing or reading a graphic novel confusing or daunting, buy this book.
by Joe Marsala
on 1/26/2014
from Rolla, MO
A great way to engage every student.
I'm extremely excited at the thought of using this book in my classroom. The detailed lesson plans, projects, and rubrics found within make such an undertaking a breeze.

This textbook will help me challenge students to think more critically, write creatively, and analyze more closely the medium for which so many of them already have a fond love.

Make this your go-to text book for teaching graphic novels in the classroom.
by Z. Hamby
on 1/14/2014
from Missouri
Excellent and Informative Resource!
This textbook appealed to me on a variety of levels. First, as a reader, the text gives a thorough overview of the historical significance of the comic book/graphic novel. At every turn I learned new information that not even I (a comic book enthusiast) was aware of. The author has a knack for pointing out the cultural and societal factors that helped shape comic books, in particular comic book superheroes. His analyses of the various characters' origins made for excellent informational reading. Who knew that Superman and Batman had such deep psychological and cultural roots? Anyone who thinks that comic books are "fluff reading" will have a change of heart after reading this text!

Secondly, as a classroom teacher, I can easily recognize that this text is a great tool for anyone wanting to incorporate graphic novels into their classrooms. Although I have never taught graphic novels in my own classroom, this book showed me what I had been missing! In its pages I found enough easily-imp
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Reviews

Review by: Amanda Jacobs Foust, VOYA - June 1, 2014
Beginning with a general introduction to comic books and their history, and then delving into specific genres such as superheroes, fantasy, science fiction, manga, fiction, biography and memoir before culminating in a section on making your own graphic novel, this title is designed for teachers. Each chapter includes discussion points, exercises, creator profiles, a project and an accompanying overview, and analysis of a well-regarded title as an example from the genre.
 
Review: Gifted Child Today - March 26, 2014
The book focuses on genres, analyses, and lessons that address various novels and includes chapter summaries, discussion questions, and essay topics. Media connections in the book stimulate thought and inquiry for students and address student learning preferences.
 

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