Ms. Hicks and Ms. Saxon’s 2nd grade spectrum class have been learning about graphic novels. Their exploration started off in the media center where we looked at how graphic novels are created by watching a video from Capstone Publishers. This video got students started in thinking about storyboarding, penciling, inking, and other terminology used when creating a graphic novel. Next, we moved to our graphic novel collection in the media center and looked at multiple graphic novels under the document camera to see how reading a graphic novel might be different than reading a novel. After exploring this together, students all chose a graphic novel to read at tables and started making noticings about what they discovered in the pictures and text.
Ms. Hicks and Ms. Saxon continued this process in their classroom by having students read multiple graphic novels and compare they writing, art, and other techniques used. Students are also working on book reviews of all of their readings.
All of this exploration is building a foundation for students before they launch into creating their own graphic novels. One more source of support was bringing in a cartoonist to demonstrate his art for the students. Dr. Chuck Cunningham is the assistant principal at Colham Ferry Elementary School in Oconee County, but he is also a cartoonist. He regularly publishes cartoons in the Oconee Enterprise and has created cartoons for other newspapers and magazines for many years. He also shares his talents with many of the classes at his own elementary school, but we were fortunate enough to have him visit Clarke County to share with our students.
Dr. Cunningham created a cartoon with students in the moment and wove in instruction about creating panels, penciling/inking, kinds of text, drawing tips, and more. The students were bubbling with excitement and left the media center fired-up about starting their own graphic novels. Dr. Cunningham left all of the artwork that he created today so that students can reference the tips that he offered.
I love to connect students and teachers with expert guest speakers because it is hard for teachers to be experts in all that they teach. If you are an individual who would love to support our students with a talent or area of expertise that you have, let me know and I would love to connect you with our students and teachers at Barrow.