• Teaching literacy skills with graphic novels to elementary students: curriculum unit for grades 1-6

      Gulsvig, Staci R.; Hogan, Maureen; Green, Carie; Marlow, Patrick; Siekmann, Sabine (2017-07)
      Today, many elementary educators praise teaching graphic novels to all kinds of learners, because they inspire students to build healthy reading habits. Yet, there is a lack of resources for elementary teachers to utilize this genre to teach the literacy skills students need. Those same literacy skills are applied when reading the visual elements of graphic novels. How can elementary teachers use graphic novels in their classroom curriculum to increase student achievement on comprehension skills and strategies? To answer this question I created a multi-grade level curriculum for four to ten students, four days a week, for eight weeks. The graphic novel I used is comprised of seven different graphic stories and authors, and shows different ways graphic novels use layout, visuals, and words. The structure of the curriculum is that each story focuses on one visual element of graphic novels and relates that to a specific literacy comprehension skills and strategy. The resulting curriculum showed the ability for students to significantly increase their motivation and achievement when applying comprehension skills and strategies in a new genre of literature. In conclusion, this paper and curriculum project provides elementary educators with the knowledge and tools needed to implement graphic novels into the classroom curriculum.