New Thematic Educator Guides: Teaching with Graphic Fiction and Nonfiction

By Kaitlyn Spotts | February 8 2022 | GeneralHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolGraphic Novels

Comics hold a special place in the literary landscape of schools, but as a form or medium, comics don’t often get a lot of teacher approval. In fact, some research has found that teachers are afraid they won’t be taken seriously if they use comics in their classes. But, here’s the thing: teachers who have brought graphic novels and comics into the formal curriculum have found overwhelming success. Comics provide multiple access points for readers to engage with complex stories in flexible and complex ways.

The first step in teaching with graphic novels must be setting solid learning goals. Are you teaching the hero’s journey? Memoir? Small moments? Are you looking for mentor texts for your students to find inspiration or for modeling persuasive essays? For perspective taking? All of these are important and can be taught with comics. These guides use teaching perspective taking and triumphs as the model, but graphic novels can be used for teaching just about anything.

Download the free guides for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

The Magic Fish
(A Graphic Novel)
978-0-593-12529-8
In this gorgeous graphic novel that Entertainment Weekly called "one of the most astounding . . . of the year," fairy tales are the only way one teen boy can express himself to his parents, who are Vietnamese immigrants. But how will he find the words to tell them that he's gay?
$23.99 US
Oct 13, 2020
Hardcover
256 Pages
Random House Graphic

Witches of Brooklyn
(A Graphic Novel)
978-0-593-11927-3
There's a new witch in town! Life in Brooklyn takes a strange turn when Effie discovers MAGIC runs in the family. A middle-grade graphic novel adventure filled with magical hjinks for fans of Phoebe and Her Unicorn and Making Friends.
$12.99 US
Sep 01, 2020
Paperback
240 Pages
Random House Graphic

When Stars Are Scattered
978-0-525-55391-5
National Book Award FinalistHeartbreak and hope exist together in this remarkable graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.
$22.99 US
Apr 14, 2020
Hardcover
264 Pages
Dial Books


They Called Us Enemy
978-1-60309-450-4
New York Times Bestseller!A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
$19.99 US
Jul 16, 2019
Paperback
208 Pages
Top Shelf Productions