These final published copies of our “Graphic Novels for Change” were produced for dual a school collaborative interdisciplinary unit between THINK Global School and Hiroshima International School called “Graphic Novels For Change.” The purpose of the project was to combine narrative techniques, visual literacy skills, and research to raise awareness about a human rights violation in the form of a graphic novel. The final versions can be read on our ISSUU site here.
These graphic novels are amazing. Students form both schools in both grades took what they had learned from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Kenji Nakazawa’s autobiographical graphic novel about the bombing of Hiroshima Barefoot Gen, a dual school trip to the Hiroshima Manga Library where students from both schools could learn from each other, a dual school trip to the Hiroshima Peace Museum to contextualize Nakazawa’s novel, and an exclusive interview session with Kenji Nakazawa’s wife who was able to provide us details dealing with Nakazawa’s writing process. More details about my English class’ unit along with class videos can be found on my previous posting.
As the TGS English teacher, what I am most proud of is the way in which every student implemented creative and purposeful visual literacy techniques to emotionally connect with an audience. While reading, look for creative ways that students use lines and shading to express mood, different panel layouts to express time, different types of borders to focus reader attention, and different uses of closure (the connections our mind makes between panels) to engage readers emotionally. Additionally each student has worked hard to structure their plot and develop their characters in a way that guides readers towards specific emotional responses. These graphic novels are amazing.
There were many teachers involved in this project. The covers for these graphic novels were done in Lee ann Thomas‘ art classes; her personal artwork can be seen at routinemagic.net The research and links to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were done by Nick Martino; an overview of his unit can be seen on his blog. Rachel Kirby headed up the Hiroshima International School’s side of the project, implimented the visual literacy lessons in her English classes and worked with them in her art class to design their covers. Jason Underwood also worked with students in his English classes at HIS to understand and implement visual literacy techniques, and Ciprian Baciu worked with his HIS students on their research component. Lee Carlton put together the ISSUU page.
More information on my English curriculum can be found on my blog, choosingtochallenge.wordpress.com.