In graphic detail

30th March 2007 at 01:00
Learning and Teaching Scotland has launched a new literacy resource which highlights how comic books, or "graphic novels", can engage pupils and be used throughout the curriculum.

The graphic novel is defined as one "whose narrative is conveyed through a combination of text and art, usually in comic-strip form, but with lengthier and more complex storylines". The online resource offers:

* research tips for starting a collection of graphic novels;

* a practical example detailing the introduction of graphic novels at James Hamilton Academy in Kilmarnock;

* a helpful list of recommended titles for schools;

* practical ideas for use with pupils;

* further reading material and links to a host of useful websites.

LT Scotland argues that the graphic medium offers flexibility which allows the novels to tell complex stories or explain difficult ideas in a simple way. But it warns that comics and graphic novels tend to be approached with caution by both libraries and schools, because their content has often been seen as controversial and undermining literacy. "When using this medium, teachers and librarians may encounter colleagues who still feel this way,"

it cautions.

Anyone planning to use graphic novels in their school will have to understand this negative perspective and be able to show that they are very diverse, offering a huge range of reading experiences, it says.

"The fact that graphic novelscomics enhance rather than undermine reading skills must also be emphasised."


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today