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English - Get a grip on graphic novels

Teachers wishing to embrace the graphic novel in their classes can now download a free poster describing how comics can be used to develop literacy skills.

The poster, which has been created by the Scottish Book Trust's online teacher Michael Stephenson, of Inveralmond Community High in Livingston, and Edinburgh-based graphic artist Tom Foster, identifies three main areas to explore: layout, art and words.

It gives a short explanation of how a comic is put together and the impact of everything from the size of the panels, which can influence pace and emphasis, to the importance of lettering, which can influence tone and meaning.

The poster, however, is just one part of Mr Stephenson's unit on the graphic novel. It also includes resources about how to make a graphic novel with pupils; a list of recommended graphic novels; and detailed information on using the GrantKennedy adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in class.


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