Graphic Novels, to read or not to read, that is the question! Teachers and parents often question if they should consider reading graphic novels as reading? Over the last decade, graphic novels have become the fastest growing genre in publishing. Yes, you read that right! Join me in taking a closer look at graphic novels.
Often, graphic novels are compared to comic books because of the similar format, but the significant difference is that graphic novels are full-length books written in panel form with pictures to support the text. Anything found in a traditional novel, such as plot, characters, vocabulary, and conflict, can be found in graphic novels.
Many students find graphic novels less intimidating to read than traditional chapter books because the words are broken up into bite-sized pieces. Students who do not love to read (yet!) tend to gravitate towards graphic novels. Finishing a graphic novel may give these students a feeling of success, and they may be more likely to attempt to read a longer chapter book next time.
Graphic novels are often used to introduce complex topics like bullying, historical events, friendship, challenging literature, identity, and so much more. What a great way to take something that students may find interesting and write the topic in a format that students love to read!
As an example, the I Survived graphic novel series vividly brings historical events to life.
An advantage of graphic novels for students that may find reading a little more challenging is that they can blend words and images, which strengthens their comprehension. Assigning leveled graphic novels is an excellent strategy to ensure that your students find success while reading.
Circling back to our original question, yes, reading graphic novels should be considered “reading.” Just because there are pictures throughout the graphic novel does not mean that challenging text and literary devices are not found between the covers. If reading graphic novels gives students the desire to read, let them read what they love!
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