Teaching with graphic novels

I mean graphic novels are a great teaching
tool. Not just as a way to, a sort of a direct way
to get across information, because they’re great for that, and one of, Josh Elder who’s
a great comics advocate, he has a great line he always does in his presentations, which
I’m totally going to steal, which is that, “When you get onto an airplane, the most important
information about what to do if the plane crashes, how do they present that to you? Not with a whole bunch of paragraphs, they
give you a cartoon.” You know, that’s, it’s the best way to get
across information. It’s the fastest, the clearest, the most direct. And so, it’s a great teaching tool for things
like history, for science, you look at the stuff that Nathan Hale is doing with his Hazardous
Tales, or all of the adaptations of Beowulf, and Macbeth, and that sort of stuff. Like it’s great for getting that information
across to people. But it’s also just great for teaching kids
how to read because it again, it helps them along, the pictures, and the words help them,
and you learn, it breaks out certain things in text that are not so clear in prose, like
for example, dialog in prose is kind of buried in the paragraph. You know, it’s inside those little quotes,
but unless you’re looking real hard for them, you may not understand that concept. Whereas dialog in a comic is up in a speech
bubble, you can see. Again narration text in a paragraph is just
sort of everything, it’s just a big mush. But narration in a comic is in a little box,
and you can clearly see what’s going on with it. So, it really breaks out some concepts for
early readers that are [unintelligible] struggle with these things.

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