Graphic Novel Review 56/365: Lesson Planning Post One

Hey, everyone!

I hope you have been enjoying my posts.  So far, I’ve had 55 reviews in a row!  But this week, I’m going to try something new: I’m going to blog about how I am using some of these books in my graphic novel class, starting with the first book I reviewed during this process.  It was the first book that I had my graphic novel class read.

I taught everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too in four major steps:

1.) I had the kids read the book.  I tried to see if I could read parts to them as a class, but that failed since this is a book that must be explored and experienced at the reader’s pace.  Items and ideas in this book will hit all readers differently, so an individual read is a must.

2.) During and after the read, I had them write down two things: quotes from the book that struck them, and lessons that they thought the book was teaching.  These lessons and quotes were then discussed over an amazing class period in which over 75% of my class contributed to the discussion.  We talked about life, loss, and learning as it was inspired by the book.  I then had the kids make a list of three-four things that they have learned over the course of their lives, and they were to select their favorite for the next day.

3.) As the students came into class the next day, I had a two-page sample comic script on my screen.  I had created my own two-page comic (script only) from a lesson that I thought up, and in the style of jomny sun, scripted a comic, with animals as my protagonists (as they had to), to tell my tale.  I explained to the students that this was what they were going to be responsible for: creating a two-page comic script based on the lesson that they came up with.

4.) With my help, the students worked to create their comic scripts and turned them in.  Note: this is not a drawing class, so when we make comics, we always only script them.

I have not yet graded all of them, and I will post my favorites later in the week, but there is some budding talent in my room for sure!  It’s my goal to later his year, work to publish a book of my students’ work, complete with drawings from artists that I commission.  It’s a huge project, but I’ve been talking about it for years.  It will happen this year!  If you want to help or contribute in some way, please let me know…I will need all the help I can get!

So, that’s it.  A great book to kick off the semester with a cool lesson to get the kids thinking about theme, character, page/panel layout, and dialogue.  Feel free to steal this concept and evolve it!  But give me a shout out if you do!  Check out my “Resources” page for more info on creating comic scripts including examples and handouts.

Happy Reading!

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