During third grade, we transition from reading mostly picture books to reading mostly chapter books. This is a difficult transition for many students. Graphic novels provide more text at a higher reading level, while still offering the support of visuals.
My students are primarily Navajo and live in rural New Mexico.
Every student at my school qualifies for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. Many students in our school don't have access to books at home and are only exposed to the books they read in school.
My ultimate goal is to increase my students fluency and comprehension while instilling in them a love for literature. Graphic novels are an exciting and accessible way to introduce students to longer texts with more complex plots and themes. I have seen my students fight over the graphic novels we do have even when they are at a challenging reading level.
Graphic novels are particularly well suited to the needs of this population of students. Over the past two years, I have observed that my students tend to learn better when information is presented visually. Visual learning supports both the cultural learning style of my Navajo students as well as the english language learners in my classroom.
Reading comprehension is possibly the most important skill a student will acquire in elementary school.
If they leave third grade behind in comprehension, they may never catch up. Engaging reading material with visuals in my classroom will significantly improve the life paths of my students.
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