• The suitcase project: a journey in multimodal reading of graphic novels with emergent bilingual fourth grade students

      Ashe, Kayla; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy; Patterson, Leslie (2019-05)
      This teacher action research focuses on how three fourth grade students interact and make meaning as they read the graphic novel, Amulet. While reading from the graphic novel, students engaged in the reading as design process to make meaning. These three students are Yup'ik students enrolled in a dual language school. Students interacted with peers and different modalities of meaning as they engaged in the meaning-making process. Data sources include a teacher research journal, audio recordings of readings and discussions, and students' reader response journals. Data analysis followed constructivist grounded theory. As there were various types of data collected and a multimodal text was used, multimodal data analysis was used to interpret the relationship across the various modes used in the study. Three main findings emerged from the data: 1. Vocabulary can be learned through multiple modes. 2. Students used words to mediate meaning socially and in a private manner. 3. Combined visuals and text support meaning making. These findings led to the conclusion that meaning making and research are both multimodal. The findings also reveal how emergent bilingual students were active meaning-makers and could read and respond to a graphic novel successfully. At times, writing prompts were used. While students designed meaning with multimodal texts, the writing prompts constricted their responses to certain topics, such as setting and characters, and did not allow for students to continue designing meaning in their own ways. Students were able to continue designing their own meaning when responding to the text in a natural, multimodal way without prompts constricting thoughts relating to the text.