PDF Graphic Texts: Literacy Enhancing Tools in Early Childhood

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While preschool and elementary teachers have long used illustrated texts with their students, the idea of bringing graphic novels into the upper grades gives educators pause. Luckily, numerous sources indicate the myriad benefits of welcoming graphic novels into the classroom.

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First, graphic novels can teach visual literacy. Additionally, for dyslexic readers , those visual cues offer a lifeline. The multiple cues within a graphic novel, including the illustrations that readers can explore for context clues, and the emphasis bold, italic, large font throughout the text allow students to understand the material without relying solely on the text. Moving beyond words supports the specific learning needs of some students and builds a new set of skills in all readers.

Expanding Literacy

Reluctant readers are often enticed by graphic novels. These visually stimulating stories create a gateway to a deeper understanding of a text. In the primary grades, teachers happily hand over books filled with pictures. These new readers have similar needs to English Language Learners, but the latter often begin learning English later in life. If younger new readers learn through text and pictures, why not offer that same experience to secondary students through graphic novels? When educators lift the barrier of so much text, these students can easily fall into a story, develop a love of reading, or, at a minimum, begin to lose some of the reluctance.

Low-pressure reading — with no grade or mandatory text attached — can foster a love of reading as well as improve reading skills. Teachers can introduce other types of text with fewer pictures and more words while still encouraging students to read those graphic novels they have come to love. And the more these students read, the more they develop as readers.

These books say much more with pictures than words ever could.

Defining the graphic novel

The best part? By interacting with both the text and images, the reader can easily comprehend and visualize the story. The more they do this, the easier and quicker they can build their reading comprehension skills. Dialogue In comic books, readers are exposed to a great deal of dialogue.


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This especially is valuable for English language learners. Not only is the text short and simplified, but the images display various expressions during these dialogues.


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Writing Comic books contain basic story elements such as setting, characters, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Each panel in a comic book equals one paragraph.

Reading comic books can be a great exercise for adult learners. Not every panel will have text, but every panel will display a story element.

With the setting, characters, etc. Vocabulary As mentioned above, comic books provide a baseline for learning vocabulary. Characters in comics are very unique, but are also built around various nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

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Readers can l earn new terms through word usage in addition to illustrative support. Comic books can be the lone wolf in the world of adult literacy. Let comic books join the pack and give them a try—you may be very surprised at how well they work as a building block for learners transitioning into more advanced reading and writing.

Then learners can have their own superpowers!

Defining the graphic novel

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