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The Graphic Novel Classroom

The Graphic Novel Classroom
POWerful Teaching and Learning With Images

  • Maureen Bakis - Masconomet Regional School District, Topsfield, MA

Foreword by James Bucky Carter

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January 2012 | 176 pages | Corwin
A timely and unique collection of implementable lessons from an experienced secondary English langauge arts teacher who specializes in teaching graphic novels. Maureen Bakis shows how middle and high school teachers can integrate graphic novels seamlessly into their curricula, and use them to foster deep thinking, vibrant discussion, and thoughtful writing from their students. Graphic novels are enjoying a great leap in popularity within schools, and gaining acceptance as part of the canon, but teachers don't yet know much about the genre itself and how to help students interpret and work with them. This book is unique in its depth of treatment about how to use graphic novels in the classroom rather than dwelling on the rationale for doing so.
Introduction: Welcome to the Graphic Novel Classroom
Part I. Looking at Literacy in the Graphic Novel Classroom
1. Looking at the Comics Medium
Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics

2. Interpreting Images
Shaun Tan’s The Arrival

Rachel Masilimani’s Two Kinds of People

Gene Leun Yang’s American Born Chinese

3. Looking at the Big Picture
Will Eisner’s A Contract with God and A Life Force

Part II. Looking at Memoir in the Graphic Novel Classroom
4. Pictures, Perception, and the Past: Teaching Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis
5. Legacies & Images: Teaching Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Elie Weisel’s Night, and Scott Russell Sanders’ “Under the Influence”
Part III: Looking at Superheroes in the Graphic Novel Classroom
6. A Glimpse at the Superhero Genre: Teaching Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
7. Making the Invisible Visible: Teaching Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta
Afterword: The Value of Teaching Graphic Novels in School


"There may be other books that promote the use of graphic novels, but none that are so specific or offer such concrete, user-friendly lessons. I really enjoyed reading this book—and now I want to read and teach some of these graphic novels."


Rebecca Rupert, English Teacher
Bloomington New Tech High School, Bloomington, IN

"This book shows without a doubt how a graphic novel can foster deep thinking, vibrant discussion and multiple opportunities for writing with a purpose."

Rachel Hanson, Writing Coach & Gifted Language Arts Teacher
Lakeside Middle School, Cumming, GA

"This book provides a great framework for structuring a graphic novel English language arts class. The practical rationales for using these texts, as well as the activities included, do meet the need for a book aimed at ELA in instruction with graphic novels."

Stergios Botzakis, Assistant Professor, Adolescent Literacy
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

"This book is very readable and makes a clear case for using graphic novels. More importantly, it provides readers with examples that they can use in their classrooms. It’s very practical, yet challenging."

Douglas Fisher, Professor
School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University, CA

"Even if you don’t want to (or can’t) teach graphic novels, this book offers so many wonderful ideas adaptable to other texts about how to get students thinking about what they read."

Cindy A. Spoon, Basic Reading Teacher
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD

"High school English teacher and graphic novel advocate Maureen Bakis offers educators a guide for using comics as teaching tools, based on her own experience. She examines the compositional elements of comics using several volumes as examples and demonstrates how they can be used to teach different concepts and skills."

Diamond Bookshelf

'This informative teacher's guide demonstrates how McCloud's Understanding Comics can be utilized in class and offers tried-and-tested ideas for the classroom, taking select graphic novels as an example' 

Roswitha Henseler
Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch

The book will be used in a fall 2014 course for pre-services teachers. The text will be used to explore the various ways that graphic novels can be used in the classroom.

Professor Raphael Rogers
Education Dept, Clark University
May 8, 2014

y course is so overloaded as it is I cannot ask for students to adopt another full text (though I found it to be excellent!)

We need a nonprint media literacy class. This would be perfect for that.

Dr Kim McCollum-Clark
English, Millersville University
May 21, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters



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ISBN: 9781412936842

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