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Find more Starting a Virtual Graphic Novel Book Club
Launch—and optimize—your own online graphic novel book club with this list of practical tips.
Today more than ever, virtual learning is a central part of students’ lives—and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. The good news is that graphic novels offer numerous ways to build inclusive and engaging virtual experiences for youth. By launching a virtual graphic novel book club, you can provide exciting new ways for students to express their creativity, connect with their peers, learn new skills, and discover new perspectives on the world around them.As graphic novels become an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, it’s important that educators learn how to harness these powerful tools for virtual learning. This article will discuss why graphic novels are ready-made for virtual learning, the educational benefits of the medium, and tips for starting your own virtual graphic novel book club.
Why Graphic Novels?
Beyond being critical and innovative educational tools, graphic novels offer students of all backgrounds the opportunity to participate in diverse online communities centered on creativity, art, and fun. Here are just a few reasons why graphic novels are perfectly suited to virtual learning:
Benefits of a Book Club
Whether you’re a librarian, classroom teacher, or parent, graphic novel book clubs can provide new ways to reach wider communities of readers, help struggling and reluctant students, and empower learners in and out of the classroom. Here are a few benefits of launching a graphic novel book club:
Launching a virtual graphic novel book club is no easy task, but it is a rewarding one. Here are some tips to get your club off to the right start:Pick a Focus. Before starting your club, do a bit of research to decide which graphic novel topics, themes, reading levels, and so on will be included. Be sure to include key students in this process by asking potential members their personal interests, what they expect to get out of the club, and which topics they are most interested in learning more about. One method to establish a club focus is to have students write an overview of the club.
As your graphic novel reading club progresses, consider implementing additional activities and opportunities to further engage with students. Here are a few ways you can build on your club’s momentum and offer even more amazing experiences for its members:
Titles to Get You Started
The titles below offer great introductions to the graphic novel format and include a diverse range of characters, art, themes, and story elements sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers. While you’re encouraged to use these graphic novels as starting points, it’s always recommended that you give students a voice in the process and collaborate on your booklist. This ensures that students are excited about their books and therefore more likely to remain in the club.
Bone: Out from Boneville. By Jeff Smith. Art by the author. 2005. 144p. Scholastic (9780439706407). Gr. 4–8. 741.5.
Drama. By Raina Telgemeier. Art by the author. 2012. 240p. Scholastic (9780545326995). Gr. 6–9. 741.5.
El Deafo. By Cece Bell. Art by the author. 2014. 248p. Abrams (9781419712173). Gr. 4–7. 741.5.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man, v.1: Straight Out of Brooklyn. By Saladin Ahmed. Art by Javier Garron. 2019. 136p. Marvel (9781302914783). Gr. 4–8. 741.5.
New Kid. By Jerry Craft. Art by the author. 2019. 256p. HarperCollins/Quill Tree (9780062691194). Gr. 4–7. 741.5.
Owly: The Way Home. By Andy Runton. Art by the author. 2020. 160p. Scholastic (9781338300659). Gr. 2–5. 741.5.
Smile. By Raina Telgemeier. Art by the author. 2010. 224p. Scholastic (9781338740264). Gr. 5–8. 741.5.
Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Ed. by Matt Dembicki. 2010. Chicago Review Press (9781682750537). Gr. 7–9. 741.5.
American Born Chinese. By Gene Luen Yang. Art by the author. 2006. 240p. First Second (9781250811899). Gr. 10–12. 741.5.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. By Alison Bechdel. Art by the author. 2007. 240p. Clarion (9780547347004). Adult. 741.5.
I Kill Giants. By Joe Kelly. Art by Ken Niimura. 2014. 221p. Image (9781607069850). Gr. 8–11. 741.5.
March: Book One. By John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. Art by Nate Powell. 2013. 128p. Top Shelf (9781603093002). Gr. 9–12. 741.5.
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. By Art Spiegelman. Art by the author. 1986. 159p. Knopf (9780394747231). Gr. 9–12. 741.5.
Ms. Marvel: No Normal. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Adrian Alphona. 2014. 120p. Marvel (9780785190219). Gr. 7–11. 741.5.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. By Marjane Satrapi. Art by the author. 2004. 160p. Random/Knopf (9780375714573). Adult. 741.5.
Adam Kullberg is the Interim Executive Director at Pop Culture Classroom, an educational nonprofit in Denver.
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