13 Fun Ways I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

Teach What It’s About? Click HERE for the full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 is a graphic novel about a young boy who experiences the horrific experience of the Titanic ship sinking. It is about a boy, his sister, and aunt who are trapped on the Titanic that tragic evening. The protagonist takes us through the night play by play in this nail-biting -graphic novel.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels

5 characteristics of graphic novels are essential to teach students prior to reading the graphic novel. What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a compilation of graphics and text structured on pages at the length of a novel. How long are graphic novels? Anywhere from 100-500 plus pages. The difference between a graphic novel and a novel is that the graphic novel has graphics (images). The difference between a graphic novel vs comic book is the length. Graphic novels text features are different than a novel just like nonfiction text features. The 5 characteristics of a graphic novel are: shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912: Graphic Novel Arguments Against GN

There are arguments against graphic novels. However, I have found that I can refute those arguments. The main argument is that students are not able to use their imagination to picture characters and setting. However, there are activities that can be supplemented to fulfill this standard. For example, providing text for a scene in a graphic novel and having students create an image of the scene based on text description. Another argument is that the length of words is to short in the graphic novel. However, Students can read more graphic novels, which beats the alternative of not reading at all.

Graphic Novel Basics

How do graphic novels work? When teaching a graphic novel, it is essential to teach students the basics. I pass out a graphic organizer and use a PowerPoint to go over the 5 characteristics of graphic novels

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Characteristics of Graphic Novels

The first out of the 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels is:

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

Basic Shapes

1. Basic Shapes

Vertical=signals strength 

Horizontal=a calm and stable atmosphere 

Circles=signal unity 

Movement Triangle=a stable and unified atmosphere

Whole Diagonals=signal action

The second of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Perspectives of Frame

2. Perspectives of Frame

Close ups=establish an emotional relationship between the viewer (you) and represented subjects or characters

Medium Shot=establishes objective (without judgment) relationship between viewer (you) and represented characters or subjects.

Long shot=a long shot establishes a relationship between represented figures or characters and surrounding environment

The 3rd of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is angles:

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Angles

3. Angles

Vertical Angle=situates the reader (you) and the subject/character on an equal level.

Low angle=situates represented subjects or characters in position of power. Imagine being down low, looking up high.

High angle=situates the reader in a position of power, omniscient view-point. Imagine being up high looking down as we are in the image above. We are situated as the “all-knowing” figure to what is happening on campus.

The 4th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Structure

4. Structure

Left-Right Structure

Given=information that is known to the reader, and taken for granted or not given much thought. An example would be the main character in “Smile” having braces in her mouth. This is not a surprise because we/the audience accompanied her to the dentist.

New=information that is previously unknown to the reader and therefore catches the readers attention. For example, when George Takei’s family is picked up by the American police and placed in a concentration camp in, “They Called US Enemy”. This would be new information in the book.

The 5th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Layout

5. Layout

Layout Panel:

A distinct segment of the comic, containing a combination of image and text in variety. Most graphic novels have consistent panels with mixed-in-single panels.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Panels

Panels: offer a different experience than simply reading text:

-The spatial arrangement allows an immediate juxtaposition of the present and the past. On one page we can see a character thinking about the past while being in the present, and looking forward to the future.

-Unlike other- visual media, transitions are instant and direct, but the exact timing of the reader’s experience is determined by focus and reading speed. In the traditional novel we have foreshadowing and hints of what is to come in the future, whereas in a graphic novel, at times we can see what is coming right around the corner, even when a character cannot. This is really helpful for struggling or young readers.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 Graphic Novel: Frames

Frame:

The lines and borders that contain the panels; akin to a picture frame that lines around a picture.

Gutter

Gutter:

The space between framed panels. The thin space that separates the frame or metal from the actual picture. In the case of an actual picture, this would be the cardboard space.

Bleed

Bleed:

An image that extends to and/or beyond the edge of the page, this can include a single image on one page.

Foreground

Foreground:

The panel closest to the viewer. The author may structure the foreground in relation to importance of what he wants the audience to focus on. The background may contain the small details, less important to the plot.

Midground

Midground:

Allows centering of image by using a natural resting place for the reader’s vision. The artist deliberately decides to place the image where a viewer would be most likely to look first. Placing an image off-center or near the top or bottom can be used to create visual tension but using the midground permits the artist to create a more readily accepted image.

Background

Background:

Provides additional, sub-textual information for the reader. For example the way characters may be described by how they look in the background. A class-clown wearing a hat sideways, a unique character holding a dummy, etc.

Graphic Weight

Graphic weight:

A term that describes the way some images draw the eye more than others, creating a definite focus using color and shading in various ways including: The use of light and dark shades; dark-toned images or high-contrast images draw the eye more than light or low-contrast images do.  Colors that are more brilliant or deeper than others on the page.

Figures Faces

Figures Faces:

Faces can be portrayed in different ways. Some depict an actual person, like a portrait; others are iconic, which means they are representative of an idea or a group of people. Other points to observe about faces include:  They can be dramatic when placed against a detailed backdrop; a bright white face stands out. They can be drawn without much expression or detail; this is called an “open blank” and it invites the audience to imagine what the character is feeling without telling them.

Hands/Feet

Hands/Feet:

The positioning of hands and feet can be used to express what is happening in the story.

Examples:

Hands that are raised with palms out suggest surprise or confusion.

The wringing of hands suggests obsequiousness or discomfort, or confusion.

-Hands over the mouth depict fear, shame, shyness or surprise.

Turned in feet may denote embarrassment-think Goofy in most pictures.

Feet with motion strokes can create the sense of panic, urgency, or speed, example, Speedy Gonzalez.

Text Captions

Text Captions:

These are boxes containing a variety of text elements, including scene setting, description, etc.

Speech Balloons

Speech balloons:

These enclose dialogue and come from a specific speaker’s mouth; they vary in size, shape, and layout and can alternate to depict a conversation.

Types of speech balloons: External dialogue, which is speech between characters Internal dialogue, which is a thought enclosed by a balloon that has a series of dots or bubbles going up to it

Special-effects Lettering

Special-effects lettering:

This is a method of drawing attention to text; it often highlights onomatopoeia and reinforces the impact of words such as bang or wow.

After Filling Out Notes on Graphic Novels

Upon completion of the graphic organizer to fill in the graphic novel information above, we use this organizer to analyze various scenes in the graphic novel. In addition I created I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 discussion questions to keep students on their toes. You can practice inference, you make copies of a scene and block out the dialogue asking students to fill it in. You can give a scene cut out and mixed up and have students put it in chronological order. There are so many things you can do with a graphic novel! And it’s so much fun! Click HERE for the full lesson for I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers. There is a I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic question and answer section with chapter by chapter questions.

In Conclusion

By teaching some basics: basics of shapes, perspectives of frames, angles, hands and faces, structure, layout panels, and text captions, students and teachers alike can effectively complete a graphic novel unit. If you teach students and teachers the basics the graphic novel experience can be a great one!

I would love to hear about your favorite graphic novels! I’m always looking for the next graphic novel read. Please share in the comments below! To learn more specifics about the popular graphic novels mentioned above check out my blog on the top 15 teen reads.

For I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, click https://wordpress.com/post/teacher-for-inclusion.com/3771

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13 Fun Ways to Teach I Survived The Nazi Invasion by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944
I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944

Teach What It’s About? Click HERE for the full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 is a graphic novel about a young boy who experiences the horrific attacks of the Nazi invasion during Hitler’s Germany.

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels

5 characteristics of graphic novels are essential to teach students prior to reading the graphic novel. What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a compilation of graphics and text structured on pages at the length of a novel. How long are graphic novels? Anywhere from 100-500 plus pages. The difference between a graphic novel and a novel is that the graphic novel has graphics (images). The difference between a graphic novel vs comic book is the length. Graphic novels text features are different than a novel just like nonfiction text features. The 5 characteristics of a graphic novel are: shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout.

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Arguments Against GN

There are arguments against graphic novels. However, I have found that I can refute those arguments. The main argument is that students are not able to use their imagination to picture characters and setting. However, there are activities that can be supplemented to fulfill this standard. For example, providing text for a scene in a graphic novel and having students create an image of the scene based on text description. Another argument is that the length of words is to short in the graphic novel. However, Students can read more graphic novels, which beats the alternative of not reading at all.

Graphic Novel Basics

How do graphic novels work? When teaching a graphic novel, it is essential to teach students the basics. I pass out a graphic organizer and use a PowerPoint to go over the 5 characteristics of graphic novels

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Characteristics of Graphic Novels

The first out of the 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels is:

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

Basic Shapes

1. Basic Shapes

Vertical=signals strength 

Horizontal=a calm and stable atmosphere 

Circles=signal unity 

Movement Triangle=a stable and unified atmosphere

Whole Diagonals=signal action

The second of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Perspectives of Frame

2. Perspectives of Frame

Close ups=establish an emotional relationship between the viewer (you) and represented subjects or characters

Medium Shot=establishes objective (without judgment) relationship between viewer (you) and represented characters or subjects.

Long shot=a long shot establishes a relationship between represented figures or characters and surrounding environment

The 3rd of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is angles:

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Angles

3. Angles

Vertical Angle=situates the reader (you) and the subject/character on an equal level.

Low angle=situates represented subjects or characters in position of power. Imagine being down low, looking up high.

High angle=situates the reader in a position of power, omniscient view-point. Imagine being up high looking down as we are in the image above. We are situated as the “all-knowing” figure to what is happening on campus.

The 4th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Structure

4. Structure

Left-Right Structure

Given=information that is known to the reader, and taken for granted or not given much thought. An example would be the main character in “Smile” having braces in her mouth. This is not a surprise because we/the audience accompanied her to the dentist.

New=information that is previously unknown to the reader and therefore catches the readers attention. For example, when George Takei’s family is picked up by the American police and placed in a concentration camp in, “They Called US Enemy”. This would be new information in the book.

The 5th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Layout

5. Layout

Layout Panel:

A distinct segment of the comic, containing a combination of image and text in variety. Most graphic novels have consistent panels with mixed-in-single panels.

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Panels

Panels: offer a different experience than simply reading text:

-The spatial arrangement allows an immediate juxtaposition of the present and the past. On one page we can see a character thinking about the past while being in the present, and looking forward to the future.

-Unlike other- visual media, transitions are instant and direct, but the exact timing of the reader’s experience is determined by focus and reading speed. In the traditional novel we have foreshadowing and hints of what is to come in the future, whereas in a graphic novel, at times we can see what is coming right around the corner, even when a character cannot. This is really helpful for struggling or young readers.

I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel: Frames

Frame:

The lines and borders that contain the panels; akin to a picture frame that lines around a picture.

Gutter

Gutter:

The space between framed panels. The thin space that separates the frame or metal from the actual picture. In the case of an actual picture, this would be the cardboard space.

Bleed

Bleed:

An image that extends to and/or beyond the edge of the page, this can include a single image on one page.

Foreground

Foreground:

The panel closest to the viewer. The author may structure the foreground in relation to importance of what he wants the audience to focus on. The background may contain the small details, less important to the plot.

Midground

Midground:

Allows centering of image by using a natural resting place for the reader’s vision. The artist deliberately decides to place the image where a viewer would be most likely to look first. Placing an image off-center or near the top or bottom can be used to create visual tension but using the midground permits the artist to create a more readily accepted image.

Background

Background:

Provides additional, sub-textual information for the reader. For example the way characters may be described by how they look in the background. A class-clown wearing a hat sideways, a unique character holding a dummy, etc.

Graphic Weight

Graphic weight:

A term that describes the way some images draw the eye more than others, creating a definite focus using color and shading in various ways including: The use of light and dark shades; dark-toned images or high-contrast images draw the eye more than light or low-contrast images do.  Colors that are more brilliant or deeper than others on the page.

Figures Faces

Figures Faces:

Faces can be portrayed in different ways. Some depict an actual person, like a portrait; others are iconic, which means they are representative of an idea or a group of people. Other points to observe about faces include:  They can be dramatic when placed against a detailed backdrop; a bright white face stands out. They can be drawn without much expression or detail; this is called an “open blank” and it invites the audience to imagine what the character is feeling without telling them.

Hands/Feet

Hands/Feet:

The positioning of hands and feet can be used to express what is happening in the story.

Examples:

Hands that are raised with palms out suggest surprise or confusion.

The wringing of hands suggests obsequiousness or discomfort, or confusion.

-Hands over the mouth depict fear, shame, shyness or surprise.

Turned in feet may denote embarrassment-think Goofy in most pictures.

Feet with motion strokes can create the sense of panic, urgency, or speed, example, Speedy Gonzalez.

Text Captions

Text Captions:

These are boxes containing a variety of text elements, including scene setting, description, etc.

Speech Balloons

Speech balloons:

These enclose dialogue and come from a specific speaker’s mouth; they vary in size, shape, and layout and can alternate to depict a conversation.

Types of speech balloons: External dialogue, which is speech between characters Internal dialogue, which is a thought enclosed by a balloon that has a series of dots or bubbles going up to it

Special-effects Lettering

Special-effects lettering:

This is a method of drawing attention to text; it often highlights onomatopoeia and reinforces the impact of words such as bang or wow.

After Filling Out Notes on Graphic Novels

Upon completion of the graphic organizer to fill in the graphic novel information above, we use this organizer to analyze various scenes in the graphic novel. In addition I created I Survived The Attacks of September 11 discussion questions to keep students on their toes. You can practice inference, you make copies of a scene and block out the dialogue asking students to fill it in. You can give a scene cut out and mixed up and have students put it in chronological order. There are so many things you can do with a graphic novel! And it’s so much fun! Click HERE for the full lesson for I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944 Graphic Novel lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers. There is a I Survived the September 11 Attacks question and answer section with chapter by chapter questions.

In Conclusion

By teaching some basics: basics of shapes, perspectives of frames, angles, hands and faces, structure, layout panels, and text captions, students and teachers alike can effectively complete a graphic novel unit. If you teach students and teachers the basics the graphic novel experience can be a great one!

I would love to hear about your favorite graphic novels! I’m always looking for the next graphic novel read. Please share in the comments below! To learn more specifics about the popular graphic novels mentioned above check out my blog on the top 15 teen reads.

For I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001 click https://wordpress.com/post/teacher-for-inclusion.com/3771

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Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

13 Fun Ways to Teach I Survived The Attacks of September 11th, 2001 You Must Have!

I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001

Teach What It’s About? Click HERE for the full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers

I Survived the Attacks on September 11th 2001 is a graphic novel about a young boy who experiences the horrific attacks from the distance of a nearby street. He is left at home suspended for the day for getting into a fight with another kid from school when he decides to stroll down to the local firehouse where his father lives. While visiting his father the first tower falls creating a chaotic storm of smoke and ash. The young boys uncle was in the building at the time. The book is perfect for the middle school student who is trying to make sense of the infamous terrorists attacks from that dreadful day.

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th, 2001: 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels

5 characteristics of graphic novels are essential to teach students prior to reading the graphic novel. What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a compilation of graphics and text structured on pages at the length of a novel. How long are graphic novels? Anywhere from 100-500 plus pages. The difference between a graphic novel and a novel is that the graphic novel has graphics (images). The difference between a graphic novel vs comic book is the length. Graphic novels text features are different than a novel just like nonfiction text features. The 5 characteristics of a graphic novel are: shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout.

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th, 2001: Arguments Against GN

There are arguments against graphic novels. However, I have found that I can refute those arguments. The main argument is that students are not able to use their imagination to picture characters and setting. However, there are activities that can be supplemented to fulfill this standard. For example, providing text for a scene in a graphic novel and having students create an image of the scene based on text description. Another argument is that the length of words is to short in the graphic novel. However, Students can read more graphic novels, which beats the alternative of not reading at all.

Graphic Novel Basics

How do graphic novels work? When teaching a graphic novel, it is essential to teach students the basics. I pass out a graphic organizer and use a PowerPoint to go over the 5 characteristics of graphic novels

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Characteristics of Graphic Novels

The first out of the 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels is:

Novel Study School (teachable.com)

Basic Shapes

1. Basic Shapes

Vertical=signals strength 

Horizontal=a calm and stable atmosphere 

Circles=signal unity 

Movement Triangle=a stable and unified atmosphere

Whole Diagonals=signal action

The second of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Perspectives of Frame

2. Perspectives of Frame

Close ups=establish an emotional relationship between the viewer (you) and represented subjects or characters

Medium Shot=establishes objective (without judgment) relationship between viewer (you) and represented characters or subjects.

Long shot=a long shot establishes a relationship between represented figures or characters and surrounding environment

The 3rd of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is angles:

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Angles

3. Angles

Vertical Angle=situates the reader (you) and the subject/character on an equal level.

Low angle=situates represented subjects or characters in position of power. Imagine being down low, looking up high.

High angle=situates the reader in a position of power, omniscient view-point. Imagine being up high looking down as we are in the image above. We are situated as the “all-knowing” figure to what is happening on campus.

The 4th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Structure

4. Structure

Left-Right Structure

Given=information that is known to the reader, and taken for granted or not given much thought. An example would be the main character in “Smile” having braces in her mouth. This is not a surprise because we/the audience accompanied her to the dentist.

New=information that is previously unknown to the reader and therefore catches the readers attention. For example, when George Takei’s family is picked up by the American police and placed in a concentration camp in, “They Called US Enemy”. This would be new information in the book.

The 5th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Layout

5. Layout

Layout Panel:

A distinct segment of the comic, containing a combination of image and text in variety. Most graphic novels have consistent panels with mixed-in-single panels.

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Panels

Panels: offer a different experience than simply reading text:

-The spatial arrangement allows an immediate juxtaposition of the present and the past. On one page we can see a character thinking about the past while being in the present, and looking forward to the future.

-Unlike other- visual media, transitions are instant and direct, but the exact timing of the reader’s experience is determined by focus and reading speed. In the traditional novel we have foreshadowing and hints of what is to come in the future, whereas in a graphic novel, at times we can see what is coming right around the corner, even when a character cannot. This is really helpful for struggling or young readers.

I Survived The Attacks of September 11th: Frames

Frame:

The lines and borders that contain the panels; akin to a picture frame that lines around a picture.

Gutter

Gutter:

The space between framed panels. The thin space that separates the frame or metal from the actual picture. In the case of an actual picture, this would be the cardboard space.

Bleed

Bleed:

An image that extends to and/or beyond the edge of the page, this can include a single image on one page.

Foreground

Foreground:

The panel closest to the viewer. The author may structure the foreground in relation to importance of what he wants the audience to focus on. The background may contain the small details, less important to the plot.

Midground

Midground:

Allows centering of image by using a natural resting place for the reader’s vision. The artist deliberately decides to place the image where a viewer would be most likely to look first. Placing an image off-center or near the top or bottom can be used to create visual tension but using the midground permits the artist to create a more readily accepted image.

Background

Background:

Provides additional, sub-textual information for the reader. For example the way characters may be described by how they look in the background. A class-clown wearing a hat sideways, a unique character holding a dummy, etc.

Graphic Weight

Graphic weight:

A term that describes the way some images draw the eye more than others, creating a definite focus using color and shading in various ways including: The use of light and dark shades; dark-toned images or high-contrast images draw the eye more than light or low-contrast images do.  Colors that are more brilliant or deeper than others on the page.

Figures Faces

Figures Faces:

Faces can be portrayed in different ways. Some depict an actual person, like a portrait; others are iconic, which means they are representative of an idea or a group of people. Other points to observe about faces include:  They can be dramatic when placed against a detailed backdrop; a bright white face stands out. They can be drawn without much expression or detail; this is called an “open blank” and it invites the audience to imagine what the character is feeling without telling them.

Hands/Feet

Hands/Feet:

The positioning of hands and feet can be used to express what is happening in the story.

Examples:

Hands that are raised with palms out suggest surprise or confusion.

The wringing of hands suggests obsequiousness or discomfort, or confusion.

-Hands over the mouth depict fear, shame, shyness or surprise.

Turned in feet may denote embarrassment-think Goofy in most pictures.

Feet with motion strokes can create the sense of panic, urgency, or speed, example, Speedy Gonzalez.

Text Captions

Text Captions:

These are boxes containing a variety of text elements, including scene setting, description, etc.

Speech Balloons

Speech balloons:

These enclose dialogue and come from a specific speaker’s mouth; they vary in size, shape, and layout and can alternate to depict a conversation.

Types of speech balloons: External dialogue, which is speech between characters Internal dialogue, which is a thought enclosed by a balloon that has a series of dots or bubbles going up to it

Special-effects Lettering

Special-effects lettering:

This is a method of drawing attention to text; it often highlights onomatopoeia and reinforces the impact of words such as bang or wow.

After Filling Out Notes on Graphic Novels

Upon completion of the graphic organizer to fill in the graphic novel information above, we use this organizer to analyze various scenes in the graphic novel. In addition I created I Survived The Attacks of September 11 discussion questions to keep students on their toes. You can practice inference, you make copies of a scene and block out the dialogue asking students to fill it in. You can give a scene cut out and mixed up and have students put it in chronological order. There are so many things you can do with a graphic novel! And it’s so much fun! Click HERE for the full lesson for I Survived the Attacks of September 11 lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers. There is a I Survived the September 11 Attacks question and answer section with chapter by chapter questions.

In Conclusion

By teaching some basics: basics of shapes, perspectives of frames, angles, hands and faces, structure, layout panels, and text captions, students and teachers alike can effectively complete a graphic novel unit. If you teach students and teachers the basics the graphic novel experience can be a great one!

I would love to hear about your favorite graphic novels! I’m always looking for the next graphic novel read. Please share in the comments below! To learn more specifics about the popular graphic novels mentioned above check out my blog on the top 15 teen reads.

For I Survived The Nazi Invasion 1944, click https://wordpress.com/post/teacher-for-inclusion.com/4058

Teachers Pay Teachers Shop
Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

13 Best Ways to Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin

What it’s about: Click HERE for the full lesson

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin is a notable novel about how 9/11 effected everyone across the United States. It is from the perspective of four protagonists who are effected by 9/11 in some capacity and how they end up at ground zero for the speech to honor the victims of 9/11 one year later. It is a coming of age novel told by two Caucasians, a Muslim, and a Hispanic to provide diversity and all are middle school level students trying to get through the regular adversities of middle school. One boy has lost a father, one girl has recently moved to New York, one is Muslim, one has a dead-beat dad.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Vocabulary

I start by passing out a vocabulary sheet in which students have the page number and the vocabulary word. Students are to write a simple synonym for the definition. I like to keep definitions as simple as possible because when you use long definitions there is a low chance of student retention.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Journal Responses

Second, I have multiple journal responses that I use throughout the unit that are engaging and assess student comprehension.

  1. Some of the examples are to write a letter to a character. Tell them how you are similar or different. Tell them something you admire about them and why. This puts the students through the thought process of what empathy is like.
  2. Another journal response can be to create a mock interview between yourself and a character. Create interview questions, practice and be prepared to present in front of the class.
  3. Students can Predict what will happen in the next chapter and craft a chapter from a character’s perspective in first person point of view. Be prepared to share the chapter with your classmates.
  4. Choose a significant incident in the book and write a journal entry from a character’s point-of-view
  5. You can ask them If you were given the opportunity to ask the author 5 questions what would they be? Write the questions below and explain why you want the answers to these questions.
  6. To assess setting students can create the setting in a drawing below. Be specific with details.
  7. Lastly draw a primary character and at least one secondary character in the box below. Be accurate in your drawing.
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Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Reading Comprehension

  1. Visualize-I ask students to draw a symbol that best represents the book.
  2. Summarize-Students will summarize the book, a chapter, or a section of the book.
  3. Clarify-Students are to analyze where they lack an understanding of the book. They are to ask themselves, what do I need to re-read in order to fully comprehend the material?
  4. Connect-students ask themselves how the material connects to other material in the book and to other texts they have read.
  5. Respond-Students analyze how the author uses literary devices in the work and why.
  6. Question-Students are to make a list of questions they have for the author for further understanding.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Costa’s Question Cues

Next I have students create a list of high order thinking questions using Costa’s question cues. Some of Costa’s question stems begin with the following:

  1. Clarify
  2. Analyze
  3. Compare/contrast
  4. Evaluate
  5. Decide
  6. Interpret

You can collect these questions and answers and use them for a Socratic Seminar or a Four Corner Discussion. Pass out a list of the questions for students to work on at home. Have students return with their questions and answers. Elect two leaders to lead the discussion. Remain as an observer and allow for a meaningful discussion about the book.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Connections

I like to take connections with the book a step deeper because of the importance of engaging the students by connecting them with the material. I have students look up quotes of things that happen in the book that remind them of something from their own lives. They write the quote and begin a connection with something like, “This reminds me of a time that….” Students catalogue the quotes and connections as they read through the book.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Purpose of Reading

It is important to note the purpose of reading a text. Students are always asking “what is the point of this?” and there is only a positive outcome if a teacher takes the time to answer this question. Some purpose of reading questions can be:

  1. What are the characters’ motives or goals?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. What am I visualizing?
  4. What is the message the author is trying to convey?
  5. What mood is the author creating?
  6. What problem is the character facing?
  7. How is the plot developing the story?
  8. Why did the author write this story?
  9. What themes are addressed in this text?
  10. What is your emotional response to the text?

Through analyzing and discussing the answers to these questions, you can come to a consensus as to what the purpose is of reading a text-even if it’s just for fun!

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Sentence Starters

The next assignment I have students complete throughout the reading are sentence starters. Sentence starters help students to analyze their own thinking and wonderment. Some examples of sentence starters are:

  1. I wonder…
  2. I was surprised that…
  3. I don’t really understand…
  4. I was reminded that…

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Exposition Writing

Some practice with writing an exposition can be done by simply using a statement and backing it up with evidence. For example, if we are to look at the statement “Parents should encourage their kids to participate in a sport” then the evidence to back it up.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Compare/Contrast Characters

Another assignment worthy of a teacher’s attention is to compare contrast characters physical and emotional descriptions. You can utilize a graphic organizer to effectively list information.

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Close Reading Questions

It is highly effective to take a close reading passage from the book and have students analyze it by answering a list of carefully crafted sentences. A list of close reading sentences can look like this:

  1. What does this passage mean to you?
  2. Why do you think it is important to the text as a whole?
  3. What confuses you about the passage?
  4. Why is understanding this passage important to your response to the book as a whole?
  5. How does the passage connect to other ideas in the book?
  6. How does the author feeling about the ideas, characters or events they are presenting?
  7. Do the characters remind you of anyone else in fiction, history, or anyone else in your life?
  8. What is revealed about the characters you have read in this passage?

Teach Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin: Have Fun With Learning! Roll the Dice Activity

It is crucial that students have some fun while learning. A simple way to create some fun is by creating a “roll the dice” activity sheet. On a sheet of paper create the following activities:

  1. Paraphrase learned information in one sentence.
  2. Create a bookmark for today’s learning.
  3. Write original lyrics to a song that relates to today’s topic.
  4. Write four what if questions about the topic
  5. Create vocabulary cards for the five most essential terms
  6. Write an acrostic poem about the topic
  7. Write a letter to a family member or friend about the topic
  8. Create an analogy for today’s topic and an image
  9. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast information
  10. Summarize what you learned today to three classmates

Have students role dye and whichever number they land on they will complete as a group. If you only have once set of dye, you can roll for the whole class.

A One-Pager Assignment Project

The purpose of the one-pager assignment is to take a close look at the novel and analyze its themes, characters, quotes, etc.

The top half should focus on symbolism and themes using words and images. The bottom half should focus on key characters from the text and how they develop.

You may also use other symbols, drawings and words as you wish.

The border is themes. Students can get creative and maximize their efforts with a one-pager assessment.

Create a Plot Structure Diagram

Create a plot structure diagram using the mountain analogy with the following:

  1. Exposition
  2. Conflict
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling action
  6. Resolution

6-Panel Story Board

Students can get a little creative and create a six-panel storyboard where they illustrate and write about a scene. They can also do an extension of a paragraph or the book.

Philosophical Chairs Discussion

Philosophical chair discussions are important in that they not only teach students to take a critical look at a topic but they learn how to express their opinions and evidence about the topic effectively. A great philosophical chairs discussion topic for this book is how our actions affect others. Have students choose a side, write about their opinions using evidence from the text and share their work in an articulate manner.

The Essay

A thorough final assessment can be the essay. For this particular book I would do a literary analysis or if you want to extend the philosophical chairs discussion, you can use the same topic from the philosophical chairs discussion.

However, you teach “Nine, Ten: ” you are doing your students a service as it is a book worthy of attention and analysis. Get this full lesson in my TpT shop HERE

To read Ground Zero blog post click https://wordpress.com/post/teacher-for-inclusion.com/3742

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

13 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz

Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

What it’s about: Click HERE for the full lesson

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz is a step by step approach to teach the novel. Ground Zero is about a young boy named Brandon who is suspended for fighting at school. For this reason he has to accompany his father to work in the Twin Towers Building on September 11, 2001. In tandem, ten years later, a story is told about a girl named Reshima who lives in Afghanistan.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Vocabulary

I start by passing out a vocabulary sheet in which students have the page number and the vocabulary word. Students are to write a simple synonym for the definition. I like to keep definitions as simple as possible because when you use long definitions there is a low chance of student retention.

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Journal Responses

Second, I have multiple journal responses that I use throughout the unit that are engaging and assess student comprehension.

  1. Some of the examples are to write a letter to a character. Tell them how you are similar or different. Tell them something you admire about them and why. This puts the students through the thought process of what empathy is like.
  2. Another journal response can be to Create a mock interview between yourself and a character. Create interview questions, practice and be prepared to present in front of the class.
  3. Students can Predict what will happen in the next chapter and craft a chapter from a character’s perspective in first person point of view. Be prepared to share the chapter with your classmates.
  4. Or, choose a significant incident in the book and write a journal entry from a character’s point-of-view
  5. You can ask them If you were given the opportunity to ask the author 5 questions what would they be? Write the questions below and explain why you want the answers to these questions.
  6. To assess setting students can create the setting in a drawing below. Be specific with details.
  7. Lastly draw a primary character and at least one secondary character in the box below. Be accurate in your drawing.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Reading Comprehension

  1. Visualize-I ask students to draw a symbol that best represents the book.
  2. Summarize-Students will summarize the book, a chapter, or a section of the book.
  3. Clarify-Students are to analyze where they lack an understanding of the book. They are to ask themselves, what do I need to re-read in order to fully comprehend the material?
  4. Connect-students ask themselves how the material connects to other material in the book and to other texts they have read.
  5. Respond-Students analyze how the author uses literary devices in the work and why.
  6. Question-Students are to make a list of questions they have for the author for further understanding.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Costa’s Question Cues

Next I have students create a list of high order thinking questions using Costa’s question cues. Some of Costa’s question stems begin with the following:

  1. Clarify
  2. Analyze
  3. Compare/contrast
  4. Evaluate
  5. Decide
  6. Interpret

You can collect these questions and answers and use them for a Socratic Seminar or a Four Corner Discussion. Pass out a list of the questions for students to work on at home. Have students return with their questions and answers. Elect two leaders to lead the discussion. Remain as an observer and allow for a meaningful discussion about the book.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Connections

I like to take connections with the book a step deeper because of the importance of engaging the students by connecting them with the material. I have students look up quotes of things that happen in the book that remind them of something from their own lives. They write the quote and begin a connection with something like, “This reminds me of a time that….” Students catalogue the quotes and connections as they read through the book.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero Alan Gratz: Purpose of Reading

It is important to note the purpose of reading a text. Students are always asking “what is the point of this?” and there is only a positive outcome if a teacher takes the time to answer this question. Some purpose of reading questions can be:

  1. What are the characters’ motives or goals?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. What am I visualizing?
  4. What is the message the author is trying to convey?
  5. What mood is the author creating?
  6. What problem is the character facing?
  7. How is the plot developing the story?
  8. Why did the author write this story?
  9. What themes are addressed in this text?
  10. What is your emotional response to the text?

Through analyzing and discussing the answers to these questions, you can come to a consensus as to what the purpose is of reading a text-even if it’s just for fun!

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz: Sentence Starters

The next assignment I have students complete throughout the reading are sentence starters. Sentence starters help students to analyze their own thinking and wonderment. Some examples of sentence starters are:

  1. I wonder…
  2. I was surprised that…
  3. I don’t really understand…
  4. I was reminded that…

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz: Exposition Writing

Some practice with writing an exposition can be done by simply using a statement and backing it up with evidence. For example, if we are to look at the statement “Parents should enocurage their kids to participate in a sport” then the evidence to back it up.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz: Compare/Contrast Characters

Another assignment worthy of a teacher’s attention is to compare contrast characters physical and emotional descriptions. You can utilize a graphic organizer to effectively list information.

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz: Close Reading Questions

It is highly effective to take a close reading passage from the book and have students analyze it by answering a list of carefully crafted sentences. A list of close reading sentences can look like this:

  1. What does this passage mean to you?
  2. Why do you think it is important to the text as a whole?
  3. What confuses you about the passage?
  4. Why is understanding this passage important to your response to the book as a whole?
  5. How does the passage connect to other ideas in the book?
  6. How does the author feeling about the ideas, characters or events they are presenting?
  7. Do the characters remind you of anyone else in fiction, history, or anyone else in your life?
  8. What is revealed about the characters you have read in this passage?

14 Easy Ways to Teach Ground Zero by Alan Gratz: Have Fun With Learning! Roll the Dice Activity

It is crucial that students have some fun while learning. A simple way to create some fun is by creating a “roll the dice” activity sheet. On a sheet of paper create the following activities:

  1. Paraphrase learned information in one sentence.
  2. Create a bookmark for today’s learning.
  3. Write original lyrics to a song that relates to today’s topic.
  4. Write four what if questions about the topic
  5. Create vocabulary cards for the five most essential terms
  6. Write an acrostic poem about the topic
  7. Write a letter to a family member or friend about the topic
  8. Create an analogy for today’s topic and an image
  9. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast information
  10. Summarize what you learned today to three classmates

Have students role dye and whichever number they land on they will complete as a group. If you only have once set of dye, you can roll for the whole class.

A One-Pager Assignment Project

The purpose of the one-pager assignment is to take a close look at the novel and analyze its themes, characters, quotes, etc.

The top half should focus on symbolism and themes using words and images. The bottom half should focus on key characters from the text and how they develop.

You may also use other symbols, drawings and words as you wish.

The border is themes. Students can get creative and maximize their efforts with a one-pager assessment.

Create a Plot Structure Diagram

Create a plot structure diagram using the mountain analogy with the following:

  1. Exposition
  2. Conflict
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling action
  6. Resolution

6-Panel StoryBoard

Students can get a little creative and create a six-panel storyboard where they illustrate and write about a scene. They can also do an extension of a paragraph or the book.

Philosophical Chairs Discussion

Philosophical chair discussions are important in that they not only teach students to take a critical look at a topic but they learn how to express their opinions and evidence about the topic effectively. A great philosophical chairs discussion topic for this book is how our actions affect others. Have students choose a side, write about their opinions using evidence from the text and share their work in an articulate manner.

The Essay

A thorough final assessment can be the essay. For this particular book I would do a literary analysis or if you want to extend the philosophical chairs discussion, you can use the same topic from the philosophical chairs discussion.

However you teach “Front Desk” you are doing your students a service as it is a book worthy of attention and analysis. Get this full lesson in my TpT shop HERE

To read Nine, Ten: by Nora Raleigh Baskin click https://wordpress.com/post/teacher-for-inclusion.com/3755

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein the Graphic Novel by Mary Shelley

What It’s About? Click HERE for the full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein graphic novel Mary Shelley blog post is a step-by-step guide for how to teach Frankenstein as a Graphic novel. Frankenstein tells the story of gifted scientist Victor Frankenstein who succeeds in giving life to a being of his own creation. However, this is not the perfect specimen he imagines that it will be, but rather a hideous creature who is rejected by Victor and mankind in general. Watch Frankenstein’s monster come to life in this graphic novel.

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels

5 characteristics of graphic novels are essential to teach students prior to reading the graphic novel. What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a compilation of graphics and text structured on pages at the length of a novel. How long are graphic novels? Anywhere from 100-500 plus pages. The difference between a graphic novel and a novel is that the graphic novel has graphics (images). The difference between a graphic novel vs comic book is the length. Graphic novels text features are different than a novel just like nonfiction text features. The 5 characteristics of a graphic novel are: shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout.

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Arguments Against GN

There are arguments against graphic novels. However, I have found that I can refute those arguments. The main argument is that students are not able to use their imagination to picture characters and setting. However, there are activities that can be supplemented to fulfill this standard. For example, providing text for a scene in a graphic novel and having students create an image of the scene based on text description. Another argument is that the length of words is to short in the graphic novel. However, Students can read more graphic novels, which beats the alternative of not reading at all.

Graphic Novel Basics

How do graphic novels work? When teaching a graphic novel, it is essential to teach students the basics. I pass out a graphic organizer and use a PowerPoint to go over the 5 characteristics of graphic novels

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Characteristics of Graphic Novels

The first out of the 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels is:

Basic Shapes

1. Basic Shapes

Vertical=signals strength 

Horizontal=a calm and stable atmosphere 

Circles=signal unity 

Movement Triangle=a stable and unified atmosphere

Whole Diagonals=signal action

The second of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Perspectives of Frame

2. Perspectives of Frame

Close ups=establish an emotional relationship between the viewer (you) and represented subjects or characters

Medium Shot=establishes objective (without judgment) relationship between viewer (you) and represented characters or subjects.

Long shot=a long shot establishes a relationship between represented figures or characters and surrounding environment

The 3rd of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is angles:

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Angles

3. Angles

Vertical Angle=situates the reader (you) and the subject/character on an equal level.

Low angle=situates represented subjects or characters in position of power. Imagine being down low, looking up high.

High angle=situates the reader in a position of power, omniscient view-point. Imagine being up high looking down as we are in the image above. We are situated as the “all-knowing” figure to what is happening on campus.

The 4th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Structure

4. Structure

Left-Right Structure

Given=information that is known to the reader, and taken for granted or not given much thought. An example would be the main character in “Smile” having braces in her mouth. This is not a surprise because we/the audience accompanied her to the dentist.

New=information that is previously unknown to the reader and therefore catches the readers attention. For example, when George Takei’s family is picked up by the American police and placed in a concentration camp in, “They Called US Enemy”. This would be new information in the book.

The 5th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Layout

5. Layout

Layout Panel:

A distinct segment of the comic, containing a combination of image and text in variety. Most graphic novels have consistent panels with mixed-in-single panels.

7 Fun Ways to Teach Frankenstein Graphic Novel Mary Shelley: Panels

Panels: offer a different experience than simply reading text:

-The spatial arrangement allows an immediate juxtaposition of the present and the past. On one page we can see a character thinking about the past while being in the present, and looking forward to the future.

-Unlike other- visual media, transitions are instant and direct, but the exact timing of the reader’s experience is determined by focus and reading speed. In the traditional novel we have foreshadowing and hints of what is to come in the future, whereas in a graphic novel, at times we can see what is coming right around the corner, even when a character cannot. This is really helpful for struggling or young readers.

Frames

Frame:

The lines and borders that contain the panels; akin to a picture frame that lines around a picture.

Gutter

Gutter:

The space between framed panels. The thin space that separates the frame or metal from the actual picture. In the case of an actual picture, this would be the cardboard space.

Bleed

Bleed:

An image that extends to and/or beyond the edge of the page, this can include a single image on one page.

Foreground

Foreground:

The panel closest to the viewer. The author may structure the foreground in relation to importance of what he wants the audience to focus on. The background may contain the small details, less important to the plot.

Midground

Midground:

Allows centering of image by using a natural resting place for the reader’s vision. The artist deliberately decides to place the image where a viewer would be most likely to look first. Placing an image off-center or near the top or bottom can be used to create visual tension but using the midground permits the artist to create a more readily accepted image.

Background

Background:

Provides additional, sub-textual information for the reader. For example the way characters may be described by how they look in the background. A class-clown wearing a hat sideways, a unique character holding a dummy, etc.

Graphic Weight

Graphic weight:

A term that describes the way some images draw the eye more than others, creating a definite focus using color and shading in various ways including: The use of light and dark shades; dark-toned images or high-contrast images draw the eye more than light or low-contrast images do.  Colors that are more brilliant or deeper than others on the page.

Figures Faces

Figures Faces:

Faces can be portrayed in different ways. Some depict an actual person, like a portrait; others are iconic, which means they are representative of an idea or a group of people. Other points to observe about faces include:  They can be dramatic when placed against a detailed backdrop; a bright white face stands out. They can be drawn without much expression or detail; this is called an “open blank” and it invites the audience to imagine what the character is feeling without telling them.

Hands/Feet

Hands/Feet:

The positioning of hands and feet can be used to express what is happening in the story.

Examples:

Hands that are raised with palms out suggest surprise or confusion.

The wringing of hands suggests obsequiousness or discomfort, or confusion.

-Hands over the mouth depict fear, shame, shyness or surprise.

Turned in feet may denote embarrassment-think Goofy in most pictures.

Feet with motion strokes can create the sense of panic, urgency, or speed, example, Speedy Gonzalez.

Text Captions

Text Captions:

These are boxes containing a variety of text elements, including scene setting, description, etc.

Speech Balloons

Speech balloons:

These enclose dialogue and come from a specific speaker’s mouth; they vary in size, shape, and layout and can alternate to depict a conversation.

Types of speech balloons: External dialogue, which is speech between characters Internal dialogue, which is a thought enclosed by a balloon that has a series of dots or bubbles going up to it

Special-effects Lettering

Special-effects lettering:

This is a method of drawing attention to text; it often highlights onomatopoeia and reinforces the impact of words such as bang or wow.

After Filling Out Notes on Graphic Novels

Upon completion of the graphic organizer to fill in the graphic novel information above, we use this organizer to analyze various scenes in the graphic novel. In addition, I create reading comprehension questions to keep students on their toes. You can practice inference; you make copies of a scene and block out the dialogue asking students to fill it in. You can give a scene cut out and mixed up and have students put it in chronological order. There are so many things you can do with a graphic novel! And it’s so much fun! Click HERE for the full lesson for “Miles Morales” on Teachers Pay Teachers.

In Conclusion

By teaching some basics: basics of shapes, perspectives of frames, angles, hands and faces, structure, layout panels, and text captions, students and teachers alike can effectively complete a graphic novel unit. If you teach students and teachers the basics the graphic novel experience can be a great one!

I would love to hear about your favorite graphic novels! I’m always looking for the next graphic novel read. Please share in the comments below! To learn more specifics about the popular graphic novels mentioned above check out my blog on the top 15 teen reads.

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13 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

What it’s about: Click HERE for the full lesson

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang is an outline to support teachers to teach the novel Front Desk. Front Desk is a middle grade book written by Kelly Yang. Yang’s book is about ten-year-old Mia Tang and her family who, after a couple years struggling financially, are hired to manage a motel. It is about immigrants and how they are exploited by Americans and how they struggle and overcome as a result of it.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Vocabulary

I start by passing out a vocabulary sheet in which students have the page number and the vocabulary word. Students are to write a simple synonym for the definition. I like to keep definitions as simple as possible because when you use long definitions there is a low chance of student retention.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Journal Responses

Second, I have multiple journal responses that I use throughout the unit that are engaging and assess student comprehension.

  1. Some of the examples are to write a letter to a character. Tell them how you are similar or different. Tell them something you admire about them and why. This puts the students through the thought process of what empathy is like.
  2. Another journal response can be to Create a mock interview between yourself and a character. Create interview questions, practice and be prepared to present in front of the class.
  3. Students can Predict what will happen in the next chapter and craft a chapter from a character’s perspective in first person point of view. Be prepared to share the chapter with your classmates.
  4. Or, choose a significant incident in the book and write a journal entry from a character’s point-of-view
  5. You can ask them If you were given the opportunity to ask the author 5 questions what would they be? Write the questions below and explain why you want the answers to these questions.
  6. To assess setting students can create the setting in a drawing below. Be specific with details.
  7. Lastly draw a primary character and at least one secondary character in the box below. Be accurate in your drawing.
Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Reading Comprehension

  1. Visualize-I ask students to draw a symbol that best represents the book.
  2. Summarize-Students will summarize the book, a chapter, or a section of the book.
  3. Clarify-Students are to analyze where they lack an understanding of the book. They are to ask themselves, what do I need to re-read in order to fully comprehend the material?
  4. Connect-students ask themselves how the material connects to other material in the book and to other texts they have read.
  5. Respond-Students analyze how the author uses literary devices in the work and why.
  6. Question-Students are to make a list of questions they have for the author for further understanding.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Costa’s Question Cues

Next I have students create a list of high order thinking questions using Costa’s question cues. Some of Costa’s question stems begin with the following:

  1. Clarify
  2. Analyze
  3. Compare/contrast
  4. Evaluate
  5. Decide
  6. Interpret

You can collect these questions and answers and use them for a Socratic Seminar or a Four Corner Discussion. Pass out a list of the questions for students to work on at home. Have students return with their questions and answers. Elect two leaders to lead the discussion. Remain as an observer and allow for a meaningful discussion about the book.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Connections

I like to take connections with the book a step deeper because of the importance of engaging the students by connecting them with the material. I have students look up quotes of things that happen in the book that remind them of something from their own lives. They write the quote and begin a connection with something like, “This reminds me of a time that….” Students catalogue the quotes and connections as they read through the book.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Purpose of Reading

It is important to note the purpose of reading a text. Students are always asking “what is the point of this?” and there is only a positive outcome if a teacher takes the time to answer this question. Some purpose of reading questions can be:

  1. What are the characters’ motives or goals?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. What am I visualizing?
  4. What is the message the author is trying to convey?
  5. What mood is the author creating?
  6. What problem is the character facing?
  7. How is the plot developing the story?
  8. Why did the author write this story?
  9. What themes are addressed in this text?
  10. What is your emotional response to the text?

Through analyzing and discussing the answers to these questions, you can come to a consensus as to what the purpose is of reading a text-even if it’s just for fun!

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Sentence Starters

The next assignment I have students complete throughout the reading are sentence starters. Sentence starters help students to analyze their own thinking and wonderment. Some examples of sentence starters are:

  1. I wonder…
  2. I was surprised that…
  3. I don’t really understand…
  4. I was reminded that…

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Exposition Writing

Some practice with writing an exposition can be done by simply using a statement and backing it up with evidence. For example, if we are to look at the statement “Parents should enocurage their kids to participate in a sport” then the evidence to back it up.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Compare/Contrast Characters

Another assignment worthy of a teacher’s attention is to compare contrast characters physical and emotional descriptions. You can utilize a graphic organizer to effectively list information.

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Close Reading Questions

It is highly effective to take a close reading passage from the book and have students analyze it by answering a list of carefully crafted sentences. A list of close reading sentences can look like this:

  1. What does this passage mean to you?
  2. Why do you think it is important to the text as a whole?
  3. What confuses you about the passage?
  4. Why is understanding this passage important to your response to the book as a whole?
  5. How does the passage connect to other ideas in the book?
  6. How does the author feeling about the ideas, characters or events they are presenting?
  7. Do the characters remind you of anyone else in fiction, history, or anyone else in your life?
  8. What is revealed about the characters you have read in this passage?

14 Fun Ways to Teach Front Desk by Kelly Yang: Have Fun With Learning! Roll the Dice Activity

It is crucial that students have some fun while learning. A simple way to create some fun is by creating a “roll the dice” activity sheet. On a sheet of paper create the following activities:

  1. Paraphrase learned information in one sentence.
  2. Create a bookmark for today’s learning.
  3. Write original lyrics to a song that relates to today’s topic.
  4. Write four what if questions about the topic
  5. Create vocabulary cards for the five most essential terms
  6. Write an acrostic poem about the topic
  7. Write a letter to a family member or friend about the topic
  8. Create an analogy for today’s topic and an image
  9. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast information
  10. Summarize what you learned today to three classmates

Have students role dye and whichever number they land on they will complete as a group. If you only have once set of dye, you can roll for the whole class.

A One-Pager Assignment Project

The purpose of the one-pager assignment is to take a close look at the novel and analyze its themes, characters, quotes, etc.

The top half should focus on symbolism and themes using words and images. The bottom half should focus on key characters from the text and how they develop.

You may also use other symbols, drawings and words as you wish.

The border is themes. Students can get creative and maximize their efforts with a one-pager assessment.

Create a Plot Structure Diagram

Create a plot structure diagram using the mountain analogy with the following:

  1. Exposition
  2. Conflict
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling action
  6. Resolution

6-Panel StoryBoard

Students can get a little creative and create a six-panel storyboard where they illustrate and write about a scene. They can also do an extension of a paragraph or the book.

Philosophical Chairs Discussion

Philosophical chair discussions are important in that they not only teach students to take a critical look at a topic but they learn how to express their opinions and evidence about the topic effectively. A great philosophical chairs discussion topic for this book is how our actions affect others. Have students choose a side, write about their opinions using evidence from the text and share their work in an articulate manner.

The Essay

A thorough final assessment can be the essay. For this particular book I would do a literary analysis or if you want to extend the philosophical chairs discussion, you can use the same topic from the philosophical chairs discussion.

However you teach “Front Desk” you are doing your students a service as it is a book worthy of attention and analysis. Get this full lesson in my TpT shop HERE

13 Best Ways to Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

What it’s about: Click HERE for the full lesson

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan will outline how to teach the novel step-by-step. Counting by 7’s is a heartbreaking-yet heartwarming story about a young girl named Willow who loses her parents. She is taken in by her friend and her friends mom, an uber driver and her school counselor. They all work together to take care of Willow while she embarks on a long and painful journey of healing.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Vocabulary

I start by passing out a vocabulary sheet in which students have the page number and the vocabulary word. Students are to write a simple synonym for the definition. I like to keep definitions as simple as possible because when you use long definitions there is a low chance of student retention.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Journal Responses

Second, I have multiple journal responses that I use throughout the unit that are engaging and assess student comprehension.

  1. Some of the examples are to write a letter to a character. Tell them how you are similar or different. Tell them something you admire about them and why. This puts the students through the thought process of what empathy is like.
  2. Another journal response can be to Create a mock interview between yourself and a character. Create interview questions, practice and be prepared to present in front of the class.
  3. Students can Predict what will happen in the next chapter and craft a chapter from a character’s perspective in first person point of view. Be prepared to share the chapter with your classmates.
  4. Or, choose a significant incident in the book and write a journal entry from a character’s point-of-view
  5. You can ask them If you were given the opportunity to ask the author 5 questions what would they be? Write the questions below and explain why you want the answers to these questions.
  6. To assess setting students can create the setting in a drawing below. Be specific with details.
  7. Lastly draw a primary character and at least one secondary character in the box below. Be accurate in your drawing.
Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Reading Comprehension

  1. Visualize-I ask students to draw a symbol that best represents the book.
  2. Summarize-Students will summarize the book, a chapter, or a section of the book.
  3. Clarify-Students are to analyze where they lack an understanding of the book. They are to ask themselves, what do I need to re-read in order to fully comprehend the material?
  4. Connect-students ask themselves how the material connects to other material in the book and to other texts they have read.
  5. Respond-Students analyze how the author uses literary devices in the work and why.
  6. Question-Students are to make a list of questions they have for the author for further understanding.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Costa’s Question Cues

Next I have students create a list of high order thinking questions using Costa’s question cues. Some of Costa’s question stems begin with the following:

  1. Clarify
  2. Analyze
  3. Compare/contrast
  4. Evaluate
  5. Decide
  6. Interpret

You can collect these questions and answers and use them for a Socratic Seminar or a Four Corner Discussion. Pass out a list of the questions for students to work on at home. Have students return with their questions and answers. Elect two leaders to lead the discussion. Remain as an observer and allow for a meaningful discussion about the book.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Connections

I like to take connections with the book a step deeper because of the importance of engaging the students by connecting them with the material. I have students look up quotes of things that happen in the book that remind them of something from their own lives. They write the quote and begin a connection with something like, “This reminds me of a time that….” Students catalogue the quotes and connections as they read through the book.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Purpose of Reading

It is important to note the purpose of reading a text. Students are always asking “what is the point of this?” and there is only a positive outcome if a teacher takes the time to answer this question. Some purpose of reading questions can be:

  1. What are the characters’ motives or goals?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. What am I visualizing?
  4. What is the message the author is trying to convey?
  5. What mood is the author creating?
  6. What problem is the character facing?
  7. How is the plot developing the story?
  8. Why did the author write this story?
  9. What themes are addressed in this text?
  10. What is your emotional response to the text?

Through analyzing and discussing the answers to these questions, you can come to a consensus as to what the purpose is of reading a text-even if it’s just for fun!

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Sentence Starters

The next assignment I have students complete throughout the reading are sentence starters. Sentence starters help students to analyze their own thinking and wonderment. Some examples of sentence starters are:

  1. I wonder…
  2. I was surprised that…
  3. I don’t really understand…
  4. I was reminded that…

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Exposition Writing

Some practice with writing an exposition can be done by simply using a statement and backing it up with evidence. For example, if we are to look at the statement “Parents should enocurage their kids to participate in a sport” then the evidence to back it up.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Compare/Contrast Characters

Another assignment worthy of a teacher’s attention is to compare contrast characters physical and emotional descriptions. You can utilize a graphic organizer to effectively list information.

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Close Reading Questions

It is highly effective to take a close reading passage from the book and have students analyze it by answering a list of carefully crafted sentences. A list of close reading sentences can look like this:

  1. What does this passage mean to you?
  2. Why do you think it is important to the text as a whole?
  3. What confuses you about the passage?
  4. Why is understanding this passage important to your response to the book as a whole?
  5. How does the passage connect to other ideas in the book?
  6. How does the author feeling about the ideas, characters or events they are presenting?
  7. Do the characters remind you of anyone else in fiction, history, or anyone else in your life?
  8. What is revealed about the characters you have read in this passage?

Teach Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Have Fun With Learning! Roll the Dice Activity

It is crucial that students have some fun while learning. A simple way to create some fun is by creating a “roll the dice” activity sheet. On a sheet of paper create the following activities:

  1. Paraphrase learned information in one sentence.
  2. Create a bookmark for today’s learning.
  3. Write original lyrics to a song that relates to today’s topic.
  4. Write four what if questions about the topic
  5. Create vocabulary cards for the five most essential terms
  6. Write an acrostic poem about the topic
  7. Write a letter to a family member or friend about the topic
  8. Create an analogy for today’s topic and an image
  9. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast information
  10. Summarize what you learned today to three classmates

Have students role dye and whichever number they land on they will complete as a group. If you only have once set of dye, you can roll for the whole class.

A One-Pager Assignment Project

The purpose of the one-pager assignment is to take a close look at the novel and analyze its themes, characters, quotes, etc.

The top half should focus on symbolism and themes using words and images. The bottom half should focus on key characters from the text and how they develop.

You may also use other symbols, drawings and words as you wish.

The border is themes. Students can get creative and maximize their efforts with a one-pager assessment.

Create a Plot Structure Diagram

Create a plot structure diagram using the mountain analogy with the following:

  1. Exposition
  2. Conflict
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling action
  6. Resolution

6-Panel StoryBoard

Students can get a little creative and create a six-panel storyboard where they illustrate and write about a scene. They can also do an extension of a paragraph or the book.

Philosophical Chairs Discussion

Philosophical chair discussions are important in that they not only teach students to take a critical look at a topic but they learn how to express their opinions and evidence about the topic effectively. A great philosophical chairs discussion topic for this book is how our actions affect others. Have students choose a side, write about their opinions using evidence from the text and share their work in an articulate manner.

The Essay

A thorough final assessment can be the essay. For this particular book I would do a literary analysis or if you want to extend the philosophical chairs discussion, you can use the same topic from the philosophical chairs discussion.

However you teach “Counting by 7’s” you are doing your students a service as it is a book worthy of attention and analysis. Get this full lesson in my TpT shop HERE

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker

What it’s about: Click HERE for the full lesson

15 Fun Ways to teach Pax will outline how to teach the novel step-by-step. Pax is about a boy named Peter and his best friend, a fox named Pax. When Peter’s father volunteers to go to war, Peter must give up the fox he has raised since it was a kit. Peter wars with himself as he feels guilty for abandoning his friend. He decides he is going to go back and find his fox which his father forced him to leave in the woods. Peter and Pax respectively have many adventures and some adversity in their journeys. It’s a great coming-of-age novel that tugs at the heart strings.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Vocabulary

I start by passing out a vocabulary sheet in which students have the page number and the vocabulary word. Students are to write a simple synonym for the definition. I like to keep definitions as simple as possible because when you use long definitions there is a low chance of student retention.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Journal Responses

Second, I have multiple journal responses that I use throughout the unit that are engaging and assess student comprehension.

  1. Some of the examples are to write a letter to a character. Tell them how you are similar or different. Tell them something you admire about them and why. This puts the students through the thought process of what empathy is like.
  2. Another journal response can be to Create a mock interview between yourself and a character. Create interview questions, practice and be prepared to present in front of the class.
  3. Students can Predict what will happen in the next chapter and craft a chapter from a character’s perspective in first person point of view. Be prepared to share the chapter with your classmates.
  4. Or, choose a significant incident in the book and write a journal entry from a character’s point-of-view
  5. You can ask them If you were given the opportunity to ask the author 5 questions what would they be? Write the questions below and explain why you want the answers to these questions.
  6. To assess setting students can create the setting in a drawing below. Be specific with details.
  7. Lastly draw a primary character and at least one secondary character in the box below. Be accurate in your drawing.
Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Reading Comprehension

  1. Visualize-I ask students to draw a symbol that best represents the book.
  2. Summarize-Students will summarize the book, a chapter, or a section of the book.
  3. Clarify-Students are to analyze where they lack an understanding of the book. They are to ask themselves, what do I need to re-read in order to fully comprehend the material?
  4. Connect-students ask themselves how the material connects to other material in the book and to other texts they have read.
  5. Respond-Students analyze how the author uses literary devices in the work and why.
  6. Question-Students are to make a list of questions they have for the author for further understanding.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Costa’s Question Cues

Next I have students create a list of high order thinking questions using Costa’s question cues. Some of Costa’s question stems begin with the following:

  1. Clarify
  2. Analyze
  3. Compare/contrast
  4. Evaluate
  5. Decide
  6. Interpret

You can collect these questions and answers and use them for a Socratic Seminar or a Four Corner Discussion. Pass out a list of the questions for students to work on at home. Have students return with their questions and answers. Elect two leaders to lead the discussion. Remain as an observer and allow for a meaningful discussion about the book.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Connections

I like to take connections with the book a step deeper because of the importance of engaging the students by connecting them with the material. I have students look up quotes of things that happen in the book that remind them of something from their own lives. They write the quote and begin a connection with something like, “This reminds me of a time that….” Students catalogue the quotes and connections as they read through the book.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Purpose of Reading

It is important to note the purpose of reading a text. Students are always asking “what is the point of this?” and there is only a positive outcome if a teacher takes the time to answer this question. Some purpose of reading questions can be:

  1. What are the characters’ motives or goals?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. What am I visualizing?
  4. What is the message the author is trying to convey?
  5. What mood is the author creating?
  6. What problem is the character facing?
  7. How is the plot developing the story?
  8. Why did the author write this story?
  9. What themes are addressed in this text?
  10. What is your emotional response to the text?

Through analyzing and discussing the answers to these questions, you can come to a consensus as to what the purpose is of reading a text-even if it’s just for fun!

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Sentence Starters

The next assignment I have students complete throughout the reading are sentence starters. Sentence starters help students to analyze their own thinking and wonderment. Some examples of sentence starters are:

  1. I wonder…
  2. I was surprised that…
  3. I don’t really understand…
  4. I was reminded that…

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Exposition Writing

Some practice with writing an exposition can be done by simply using a statement and backing it up with evidence. For example, if we are to look at the statement “Parents should enocurage their kids to participate in a sport” then the evidence to back it up.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Compare/Contrast Characters

Another assignment worthy of a teacher’s attention is to compare contrast characters physical and emotional descriptions. You can utilize a graphic organizer to effectively list information.

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Close Reading Questions

It is highly effective to take a close reading passage from the book and have students analyze it by answering a list of carefully crafted sentences. A list of close reading sentences can look like this:

  1. What does this passage mean to you?
  2. Why do you think it is important to the text as a whole?
  3. What confuses you about the passage?
  4. Why is understanding this passage important to your response to the book as a whole?
  5. How does the passage connect to other ideas in the book?
  6. How does the author feeling about the ideas, characters or events they are presenting?
  7. Do the characters remind you of anyone else in fiction, history, or anyone else in your life?
  8. What is revealed about the characters you have read in this passage?

15 Fun Ways to Teach Pax by Sara Pennypacker: Have Fun With Learning! Roll the Dice Activity

It is crucial that students have some fun while learning. A simple way to create some fun is by creating a “roll the dice” activity sheet. On a sheet of paper create the following activities:

  1. Paraphrase learned information in one sentence.
  2. Create a bookmark for today’s learning.
  3. Write original lyrics to a song that relates to today’s topic.
  4. Write four what if questions about the topic
  5. Create vocabulary cards for the five most essential terms
  6. Write an acrostic poem about the topic
  7. Write a letter to a family member or friend about the topic
  8. Create an analogy for today’s topic and an image
  9. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast information
  10. Summarize what you learned today to three classmates

Have students role dye and whichever number they land on they will complete as a group. If you only have once set of dye, you can roll for the whole class.

A One-Pager Assignment Project

The purpose of the one-pager assignment is to take a close look at the novel and analyze its themes, characters, quotes, etc.

The top half should focus on symbolism and themes using words and images. The bottom half should focus on key characters from the text and how they develop.

You may also use other symbols, drawings and words as you wish.

The border is themes. Students can get creative and maximize their efforts with a one-pager assessment.

Create a Plot Structure Diagram

Create a plot structure diagram using the mountain analogy with the following:

  1. Exposition
  2. Conflict
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling action
  6. Resolution

6-Panel StoryBoard

Students can get a little creative and create a six-panel storyboard where they illustrate and write about a scene. They can also do an extension of a paragraph or the book.

Philosophical Chairs Discussion

Philosophical chair discussions are important in that they not only teach students to take a critical look at a topic but they learn how to express their opinions and evidence about the topic effectively. A great philosophical chairs discussion topic for this book is how our actions affect others. Have students choose a side, write about their opinions using evidence from the text and share their work in an articulate manner.

The Essay

A thorough final assessment can be the essay. For this particular book I would do a literary analysis or if you want to extend the philosophical chairs discussion, you can use the same topic from the philosophical chairs discussion.

However you teach “Pax” you are doing your students a service as it is a book worthy of attention and analysis. Get this full lesson in my TpT shop HERE

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

What It’s About? Click HERE for the full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers

Teach Miles Morales: Spiderman written by Jason Reynolds is a story about an regular teen, Miles Morales who resides in the Brooklyn projects. He comes from a low-income yet loving and supporting family and has received a scholarship to attend a very prominent boarding school with his friend Ganke, while also being the town’s hero.

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels

5 characteristics of graphic novels are essential to teach students prior to reading the graphic novel. What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a compilation of graphics and text structured on pages at the length of a novel. How long are graphic novels? Anywhere from 100-500 plus pages. The difference between a graphic novel and a novel is that the graphic novel has graphics (images). The difference between a graphic novel vs comic book is the length. Graphic novels text features are different than a novel just like nonfiction text features. The 5 characteristics of a graphic novel are: shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout.

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Arguments Against GN

There are arguments against graphic novels. However, I have found that I can refute those arguments. The main argument is that students are not able to use their imagination to picture characters and setting. However, there are activities that can be supplemented to fulfill this standard. For example, providing text for a scene in a graphic novel and having students create an image of the scene based on text description. Another argument is that the length of words is to short in the graphic novel. However, Students can read more graphic novels, which beats the alternative of not reading at all.

Graphic Novel Basics

How do graphic novels work? When teaching a graphic novel, it is essential to teach students the basics. I pass out a graphic organizer and use a PowerPoint to go over the 5 characteristics of graphic novels

Homepage | Novel Study School (teachable.com)

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Characteristics of Graphic Novels

The first out of the 5 Characteristics of Graphic Novels is:

Basic Shapes

1. Basic Shapes

Vertical=signals strength 

Horizontal=a calm and stable atmosphere 

Circles=signal unity 

Movement Triangle=a stable and unified atmosphere

Whole Diagonals=signal action

The second of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Perspectives of Frame

2. Perspectives of Frame

Close ups=establish an emotional relationship between the viewer (you) and represented subjects or characters

Medium Shot=establishes objective (without judgment) relationship between viewer (you) and represented characters or subjects.

Long shot=a long shot establishes a relationship between represented figures or characters and surrounding environment

The 3rd of the 5 characteristics of graphic novels is angles:

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Angles

3. Angles

Vertical Angle=situates the reader (you) and the subject/character on an equal level.

Low angle=situates represented subjects or characters in position of power. Imagine being down low, looking up high.

High angle=situates the reader in a position of power, omniscient view-point. Imagine being up high looking down as we are in the image above. We are situated as the “all-knowing” figure to what is happening on campus.

The 4th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is:

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Structure

4. Structure

Left-Right Structure

Given=information that is known to the reader, and taken for granted or not given much thought. An example would be the main character in “Smile” having braces in her mouth. This is not a surprise because we/the audience accompanied her to the dentist.

New=information that is previously unknown to the reader and therefore catches the readers attention. For example, when George Takei’s family is picked up by the American police and placed in a concentration camp in, “They Called US Enemy”. This would be new information in the book.

The 5th out of 5 characteristics of graphic novels is

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Layout

5. Layout

Layout Panel:

A distinct segment of the comic, containing a combination of image and text in variety. Most graphic novels have consistent panels with mixed-in-single panels.

7 Ways to Teach Miles Morales Jason Reynolds: Panels

Panels: offer a different experience than simply reading text:

-The spatial arrangement allows an immediate juxtaposition of the present and the past. On one page we can see a character thinking about the past while being in the present, and looking forward to the future.

-Unlike other- visual media, transitions are instant and direct, but the exact timing of the reader’s experience is determined by focus and reading speed. In the traditional novel we have foreshadowing and hints of what is to come in the future, whereas in a graphic novel, at times we can see what is coming right around the corner, even when a character cannot. This is really helpful for struggling or young readers.

Frames

Frame:

The lines and borders that contain the panels; akin to a picture frame that lines around a picture.

Gutter

Gutter:

The space between framed panels. The thin space that separates the frame or metal from the actual picture. In the case of an actual picture, this would be the cardboard space.

Bleed

Bleed:

An image that extends to and/or beyond the edge of the page, this can include a single image on one page.

Foreground

Foreground:

The panel closest to the viewer. The author may structure the foreground in relation to importance of what he wants the audience to focus on. The background may contain the small details, less important to the plot.

Midground

Midground:

Allows centering of image by using a natural resting place for the reader’s vision. The artist deliberately decides to place the image where a viewer would be most likely to look first. Placing an image off-center or near the top or bottom can be used to create visual tension but using the midground permits the artist to create a more readily accepted image.

Background

Background:

Provides additional, sub-textual information for the reader. For example the way characters may be described by how they look in the background. A class-clown wearing a hat sideways, a unique character holding a dummy, etc.

Graphic Weight

Graphic weight:

A term that describes the way some images draw the eye more than others, creating a definite focus using color and shading in various ways including: The use of light and dark shades; dark-toned images or high-contrast images draw the eye more than light or low-contrast images do.  Colors that are more brilliant or deeper than others on the page.

Figures Faces

Figures Faces:

Faces can be portrayed in different ways. Some depict an actual person, like a portrait; others are iconic, which means they are representative of an idea or a group of people. Other points to observe about faces include:  They can be dramatic when placed against a detailed backdrop; a bright white face stands out. They can be drawn without much expression or detail; this is called an “open blank” and it invites the audience to imagine what the character is feeling without telling them.

Hands/Feet

Hands/Feet:

The positioning of hands and feet can be used to express what is happening in the story.

Examples:

Hands that are raised with palms out suggest surprise or confusion.

The wringing of hands suggests obsequiousness or discomfort, or confusion.

-Hands over the mouth depict fear, shame, shyness or surprise.

Turned in feet may denote embarrassment-think Goofy in most pictures.

Feet with motion strokes can create the sense of panic, urgency, or speed, example, Speedy Gonzalez.

Text Captions

Text Captions:

These are boxes containing a variety of text elements, including scene setting, description, etc.

Speech Balloons

Speech balloons:

These enclose dialogue and come from a specific speaker’s mouth; they vary in size, shape, and layout and can alternate to depict a conversation.

Types of speech balloons: External dialogue, which is speech between characters Internal dialogue, which is a thought enclosed by a balloon that has a series of dots or bubbles going up to it

Special-effects Lettering

Special-effects lettering:

This is a method of drawing attention to text; it often highlights onomatopoeia and reinforces the impact of words such as bang or wow.

After Filling Out Notes on Graphic Novels

Upon completion of the graphic organizer to fill in the graphic novel information above, we use this organizer to analyze various scenes in the graphic novel. In addition I create reading comprehension questions to keep students on their toes. You can practice inference, you make copies of a scene and block out the dialogue asking students to fill it in. You can give a scene cut out and mixed up and have students put it in chronological order. There are so many things you can do with a graphic novel! And it’s so much fun! Click HERE for the full lesson for “Miles Morales” on Teachers Pay Teachers.

In Conclusion

By teaching some basics: basics of shapes, perspectives of frames, angles, hands and faces, structure, layout panels, and text captions, students and teachers alike can effectively complete a graphic novel unit. If you teach students and teachers the basics the graphic novel experience can be a great one!

I would love to hear about your favorite graphic novels! I’m always looking for the next graphic novel read. Please share in the comments below! To learn more specifics about the popular graphic novels mentioned above check out my blog on the top 15 teen reads.

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