This experience made me particularly interested in attending a talk last month by Mike Gianfresco, a Rhode Island high school English teacher and adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University. Gianfresco spoke about the value of using graphic novels in any English classroom. Since the audience was mainly public school teachers, he noted how lesson plans using graphic novels would apply to specific Common Core standards. He also conducted a mini-lesson similar to the ones he gives his students. We were asked to look at a page from Will Eisner’s graphic novel New York: The Great City and answer the following questions:
· what is in the text?
· what is implied (what can be argued from what you see)?
· what is assumed (what does reader impose on what is presented)?
It was a thought-provoking and exercise and talk, and his presentation made clear the rich potential in using graphic novels in the classroom. I was so inspired by Gianfresco’s methods and enthusiasm that I ordered a few of the titles he recommended: Pride of Baghdad, by Brian K. Vaughan, Awkward and Definition, by Ariel Schrag, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, by Chris Hedges and Starling, by Sage Stossel.
I will keep you posted.