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Drawing Conclusions: Analyzing Graphic Novels Alongside American Literacy Standards

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posted on 13.11.2021, 10:56 by Virello, Molly Kathryn

Research problem: This project proposes to address how graphic novels can be applied to American Common Core State Standards, aid student achievement of those standards, and how teachers can approach teaching the graphic novel format in the classroom. It also discusses the visual attributes presented by the images of graphic novels and how those attributes might aid in visual and traditional literacy acquisition. Methodology: A qualitative approach was used to analyse a selection of graphic novel adaptations of classic texts which are used in the American High School classroom. These graphic novel adaptations were analysed using visually reinterpreted criteria and attributes from the Common Core State Standards for Reading Literature. A sample of seven graphic novels were chosen for analysis for this project. Results: The results of this study illustrate how the CCSS can be applied to the images in graphic novels and still be satisfied. The visuals in graphic novel adaptations provide concrete examples of the CCSS criteria expected to be found in text-based novels, and present a way to provide access points to difficult concepts and texts in an educational setting through a visual lens. Implications: This study provides a starting point that teachers and librarians can use to apply CCSS to graphic novels and presents one, non-exhaustive, way which teachers and librarians can apply the CCSS to the classroom. It presents a set of attributes which can be used to judge the effectiveness of a graphic novel to help students achieve CCSS. Librarians and educators may be able to use the criteria presented to build their graphic novel collections so they possess the necessary qualities to aid in student literacy acquisition. Future research on this topic should be broadened to include student testing in grade levels: 9-12, in order to ascertain if the attributes and graphic novels do promote student satisfaction of the standards and aid in visual, critical, multimodal, etc., literacy acquisition. Refining the attributes created for this study is another possibility for future research, as well as developing specific questions which link to CCSS criteria, and testing a broader sample of graphic novels which include original graphic novels, as opposed to adaptations, with the attributes presented in this study.


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Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

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Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

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Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management