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A timely and unique collection of implementable lessons from an experienced secondary English langauge arts teacher who specializes in teaching graphic novels. Maureen Bakis shows how middle and high school teachers can integrate graphic novels seamlessly into their curricula, and use them to foster deep thinking, vibrant discussion, and thoughtful writing from their students. Graphic novels are enjoying a great leap in popularity within schools, and gaining acceptance as part of the canon, but teachers don't yet know much about the genre itself and how to help students interpret and work with them. This book is unique in its depth of treatment about how to use graphic novels in the classroom rather than dwelling on the rationale for doing so.
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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Welcome to the Graphic Novel ClassroomPart I. Looking at Literacy in the Graphic Novel Classroom1. Looking at the Comics Medium Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics2. Interpreting Images Shaun Tan's The Arrival Rachel Masilimani's Two Kinds of People Gene Leun Yang's American Born Chinese3. Looking at the Big Picture Will Eisner's A Contract with God and A Life ForcePart II. Looking at Memoir in the Graphic Novel Classroom4. Pictures, Perception, and the Past: Teaching Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis5. Legacies & Images: Teaching Art Spiegelman's Maus, Elie Weisel's Night, and Scott Russell Sanders' "Under the Influence"Part III: Looking at Superheroes in the Graphic Novel Classroom6. A Glimpse at the Superhero Genre: Teaching Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns7. Making the Invisible Visible: Teaching Alan Moore's V for VendettaAfterword: The Value of Teaching Graphic Novels in SchoolResourcesReferencesIndex

About the Author

Maureen Bakis is a mother of four children and has been teaching English at Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield, Massachusetts for seven years. Maureen presents her experiences teaching graphic novels to high school students at local, regional, and national conferences and events, most recently New York Comic Con, Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and New England Comics in the Classroom. She also blogs about her experiences as webmaster at


'This informative teacher's guide demonstrates how McCloud's Understanding Comics can be utilized in class and offers tried-and-tested ideas for the classroom, taking select graphic novels as an example' -- Roswitha Henseler "High school English teacher and graphic novel advocate Maureen Bakis offers educators a guide for using comics as teaching tools, based on her own experience. She examines the compositional elements of comics using several volumes as examples and demonstrates how they can be used to teach different concepts and skills." -- Diamond Bookshelf "Even if you don't want to (or can't) teach graphic novels, this book offers so many wonderful ideas adaptable to other texts about how to get students thinking about what they read." -- Cindy A. Spoon, Basic Reading Teacher "This book is very readable and makes a clear case for using graphic novels. More importantly, it provides readers with examples that they can use in their classrooms. It's very practical, yet challenging." -- Douglas Fisher, Professor "This book provides a great framework for structuring a graphic novel English language arts class. The practical rationales for using these texts, as well as the activities included, do meet the need for a book aimed at ELA in instruction with graphic novels." -- Stergios Botzakis, Assistant Professor, Adolescent Literacy "This book shows without a doubt how a graphic novel can foster deep thinking, vibrant discussion and multiple opportunities for writing with a purpose." -- Rachel Hanson, Writing Coach & Gifted Language Arts Teacher "There may be other books that promote the use of graphic novels, but none that are so specific or offer such concrete, user-friendly lessons. I really enjoyed reading this book-and now I want to read and teach some of these graphic novels." -- Rebecca Rupert, English Teacher

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