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Teaching Graphic Novels


Teaching Graphic Novels

So many of us grew up in an age where comics were so frowned upon that we hid the fact that we read them from most of our teachers—especially our English teachers. That’s not the case anymore. In fact, more and more teachers everywhere are discovering the wonderful aspects of comics and the enormous benefit they can offer in the classroom. English teachers are no longer the enemies of comics—they’re some of the format’s biggest proponents.
One such professor is Dr. Katie Monnin (familiar to readers of GNR already, of course), an assistant professor of literacy at University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She’s also a busy speaker working the graphic-novel circuit at conventions and seminars. So it’s no surprise that Monnin has written such an excellent resource as Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom. The book is as straightforward as its name suggests and simply and easily presents methods teachers can use to integrate graphic novels in their classrooms.
A foreword from the New Yorker’s art editor, Francoise Mouly, opens the book and sets the tone. From there, we get into these heady topics: Graphic Novel Vocabulary; Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Novels; Teaching Graphic Novel Fiction; Teaching Graphic Novel Nonfiction; Teaching Media Literacy with Graphic Novels; and Suggestions for Teaching Graphic Novels to English Language Learners. Then there are the appendices: 25 of them, to be exact. Finally, the book is topped off with several reference lists. It’s a pretty thorough book that covers all the bases.
The graphic design of the book is pretty simple (to put it mildly), but the real star here is the content, which is exceptional. Dr. Monnin is a trusted authority who has put together an essential book on the use of comics in the classroom.

Reviewed by John Hogan on August 2, 2012

Teaching Graphic Novels
by Katie Monnin

  • Publication Date: November 15, 2009
  • Genres: Education, English, Graphic Novel
  • : 256 pages
  • Publisher: Maupin House Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1934338400
  • ISBN-13: 9781934338407