CBLDF Resources: Using Graphic Novels in Education

September 21, 2016
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This One SummerBanned Books Week starts this Sunday and runs through October 1, which means you still have time to plan your Banned Books Week event! Celebrate the freedom to read and this year’s theme of diversity with CBLDF resources, including our regular column, Using Graphic Novels in Education!

Using Graphic Novels in Education is an ongoing feature written by Meryl Jaffe that is designed to allay confusion around the content of graphic novels and to help parents and teachers raise readers. In this column, we examine graphic novels, including those that have been targeted by censors, and provide teaching and discussion suggestions for the use of such books in classrooms. Browse all the past columns by age group and interest here!

We also offer two other resources that serve as ideal complements to UGN: Adding Graphic Novels to Your Library or Classroom Collection and our graphic novel discussion guides.

Adding Graphic Novels to Your Library or Classroom Collection

This ongoing feature from CBLDF provides specific resources for librarians and educators who may need to justify and defend the inclusion of the book in library and classroom collections. Each column provides specific information about a book, including a summary of challenges it has faced, reviews, praise, awards and other recognitions, and additional CBLDF resources that educators and librarians can provide to their administrators when they want to add the book to their collections. Find all the past columns here!

CBLDF Discussion Guides

Given their visual nature, comics are easy targets for would-be censors. CBLDF Discussion Guides are tools that can be used to lead conversations about challenged graphic novels and to help allay misconceptions about comics.

CBLDF Discussion Guides can be used by librarians, educators, retailers, or anyone who wants to lead a conversation about a graphic novel. In each guide, you will find the following:

  • Synopsis: A brief summary of the major plot points in the graphic novel
  • Themes: The overarching ideas that the creator(s) express in the graphic novel
  • Reasons Challenged: The reasons why people have tried to censor the book
  • Suggested Age Range: The age group for which the book is most likely suitable
  • Discussion Questions: Tiered questions organized by cognitive complexity, from basic recall to higher-order thinking
  • Activities: Projects and activities to take the conversation about graphic novels beyond the library or classroom and to encourage greater engagement with comics

Download the free discussion guides here!

This year, Banned Books Week celebrates diversity. According to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, more than half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities. Why are so many diverse books banned? Banned Books Week is a great opportunity to engage your community in this discussion!

If you are hosting an event or Banned Books Week display, let us know about it! Register your event with Banned Books Week at http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/events and send an email to betsy.gomez@cbldf.org.

As you’re planning your events or developing your library and classroom curricula, be sure to check out these other valuable CBLDF resources:

CBLDF is an official sponsor of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week is also sponsored by American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, Association of American Publishers, Association of American University Presses, The Authors Guild, Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Council for Teachers of English, and People for the American Way Foundation. Contributors include American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN America, and Project Censored. Banned Books Week is endorsed by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

CBLDF’s education program is made possible with the support of the Gaiman Foundation and CBLDF’s Corporate Members — ABRAMS, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, BOOM! Studios, comiXology, DCBS, Diamond Comic Distributors, Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Half Price Books, Oni Press, Penguin Random House, ReedPop, TFAW.com, Scholastic, SPX, Valiant, the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation — and members like you. Thank you!

Help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by visiting the Rewards Zonemaking a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!

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