Challenge or opportunity?

“I have found that children are the most open-minded of all my audiences. They are not set in their ways. They are open to ideas.” – Ziggy Marley

And so begins my challenge because I realize, as I start sketching out my blog, headings, and content, that my audience will be predominantly my colleagues, some of whom, I know, are set in their ways and opinions when it comes to graphic novels.  Can I change their opinions?  Maybe not but, I am hoping that I can educate them towards mine.  For those educators who are on the fence where the efficacy of graphic novels as a teaching tool is concerned, perhaps they are the ones that my blog will be able to sway.

In considering this audience, and thinking about “learner considerations”, I had to think about how I am persuaded to change my thinking on something and, quite simply, I came up with the word “PROOF”.  Yes, I want proof and actual on-paper evidence to change my mind like, for example, a case study, or testing scores or a myriad of other ways to convince me to change my pedagogy.  So, that’s what I need to give my colleagues along with viable ways to teach using graphic novels.

This week I started researching papers, case studies, educational talks and seminars that I can quote or embed in my blog to “convince” my colleagues of the value of graphic novels as a method of teaching literacy in a multimodal format.  I am considering that one of my blog tabs should be “research” so I am able to prove to my colleagues that they are valuable tools.  I also started researching lesson plans and developing some of my own, to include in my blog.  Giving teachers a place to start and lessons that break down instruction and educational curricular goals, will only strengthen the validity of the blog and its concept.


I also started thinking about how I could connect to my fellow teachers on a more personal level and, having been to Iron Man, Batman and other movies with many of my teacher colleagues, I thought it would be valuable to show them how many popular movies have been developed from graphic novels.  I know what you’re thinking, “these are comic book movies” but, there are many more that perhaps you have not considered: 300 (Frank Miller masterpiece); V for Vendetta (amazing in a bizarre dystopian way); The Crow (now I’m going old school); Blue is the Warmest Colour (winner of the 2010 Palm d’Or at Cannes); RED (Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman..enough said); A History of Violence (excellent although Cronenberg deviated from the graphic novel); and, one of my all-time favourites Hell Boy.

Image result for v for vendetta

There is still so much more to consider but I am on my way and I am starting to have a clearer vision.  Well, got to run and finish Amulet 8.  My students haven’t been allowed to talk about it until I’m finished!  No spoilers allowed in my class:)


4 thoughts on “Challenge or opportunity?

  1. A good discussion and reflection post on your progress and thinking so far in building and designing your future vision. You have done a great job in focusing your attention on “proof” that will engage and include even the most reluctant staff members to learn and adopt some of these great resources as teaching tools. You’ve come up with a useful strategy and some excellent examples that should help you connect personally through something fun and leverage it into better resources and support for reluctant readers. Looking forward to following along!


  2. Hey Allison,

    Sounds like you are well on your way to creating your blog. I think adding the research tab for staff to go and read the ‘proof’ if needed is a great idea. I have to say that I have never read a graphic novel from start to finish. Okay wait I take that back … do Archie comics count? But I am really looking forward to learning more about teaching with graphic novels and checking out your blog. And I just may have to pick up a graphic novel from my library and give it a go.

    Good luck!!



  3. I think your different approaches….from having lesson plans to the research will connect with different colleagues. Some people really like the research as proof, but for others having a practical way to use a graphic novel in class the next day will have them buy into your vision!


  4. Last weekend I was shopping at Costco and picked up the complete set of Calvin and Hobbes for our library. My own children have owned this complete set for several years now and it has been read multiple times. While Calvin and Hobbes are not graphic novels, these comics do have some narrative arch when a series of strips builds one upon the other.

    The two pronged approach you are taking sounds like a good plan – evidence based reasons to use graphic novels and lesson plan ideas. I’m looking forward to the final vision project.


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