The best way that I’ve found to teach graphic novels? Let the experts lead the way.
Sixth grade graphic novel experts put their skills to the test last week leading a lesson on Graphic Novels to fourth grade RLA classes. In our graphic novel unit, sixth grade English teacher Mr. Passmore and I showed students how to read like an artist, considering details like color, mood, lines, panel size and shape, and finishes. Then, we put our skills to the test by using them to create a lesson plan to teach younger readers how to slow down and get more from their graphic novels.
Sixth graders prepared a 20 minute lesson by creating guiding questions and focus points ahead of time, annotating their texts, and role playing for practice. When the two grades met for the lesson, sixth graders pushed their younger buddies to dig deeper into the texts, asking things like “What do you notice?” And “Why do you think that?” The goal was to help change the way 4th graders look at their graphic novels, to help them to see the books as the complex and intricate works of art that they are, and to inspire them to slow down and get more from the texts as they read.