Integrating Graphic Novels Into Curriculum
Graphic novels have a lot to offer as literature, educational tools, entertainment and more. As teachers, educators and reading specialists are becoming more open to varied strategies to improve student literacy there has been an increase in the use of graphic novels and comics into the classroom. Many publishers also offer lesson plans to coincide with the materials.
There is now a wealth of motivating, high-quality fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, nonfiction graphic novels that lend themselves to content-area classroom use. With the growth of technology and access to the Internet, there is now an increasing need for visual and verbal literacy mastery emphasized not only in our everyday lives, but also in the state standards.
Below are resources from the September 2016 webinar presentation (MP4 recording below). The presentation illustrates how educator Jill Gerber uses graphic novels to reach a wide range of learners and inspire creative self-expression. Jill uses lesson plans and activities to connect the printed word with visual expression to make abstract concepts visual, and therefore, easier to recognize and understand. Author Greg Grunberg shares his full-color graphic novel Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape that was inspired by a conversation he had with his son about his dreams. Dream Jumper has been optioned by Paramount with Producer, J.J. Abrams signing on to produce. During the webinar, he shares his experiences in the film and television industry and the connections to graphic literature. Author and artist Lucas Turnbloom contributes his perspective as it relates to collaborating on and creative graphic novels.
8th Grade English Teacher
Whitfield School, St. Louis MO
Jill Gerber an 8th grade English teacher from Whitfield School in St. Louis, Missouri, who uses graphic novels in her classroom and is a huge advocate having traveled recently to China teaching English to her sister school in Shenzhen. As an example of teaching with graphic literature, she used Shaun Tan’s The Arrival with her students in China for writing prompts.
Actor and Author, Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape
Best known for his roles in the award-winning series Heroes, Alias, and Felicity, among others, Greg Grunberg has teamed up with friend and award-winning cartoonist Lucas Turnbloom to create the full-color graphic novel Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape. The first book in a series inspired by a conversation Greg had with his son about his dreams, Dream Jumper has been optioned by Paramount with J.J. Abrams signing on to produce.
Grunberg’s film credits include Mission: Impossible III, Hollow Man, Austin Powers, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by J.J. Abrams. Greg is also co-host of “Geeking Out.” AMC’s “Geeking Out,” a new late-night talk show hosted by Kevin Smith (“Comic Book Men,” “Clerks”) and Greg Grunberg will take a timely look at pop culture through a fanboy lens and feature talk, clips, celebrity interviews and out-of-the-studio segments. The series will premiere with a special episode covering Comic-Con International: San Diego in late July followed by eight additional 30-minute episodes to run weekly starting in late summer.
Author and Illustrator, Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape
In addition to authoring and illustrating the epic graphic novel Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape with Greg Grunberg, Lucas Turnbloom is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator who’s best known for his comic strip, "Imagine THIS." He was a contributing artist for Darkhorse’s Axe Cop graphic novel series. He also illustrated a picture book called "Dragon and Captain," last year for Flashlight Press. It's a picture book with a layout like a graphic novel. His work has also appeared in USA Today, and TIME.com. Lucas currently resides in San Diego with his wife and two sons.
Original release date: June 18, 2016. Updated: July 2, 2018