I have a wide range of students with exceptionalities. I will be working with students who are English Language Learners and students with learning disabilities. My students are on various reading levels, ranging from a first grade level up to middle school. Most of my students would tell you they are not crazy about reading, but when you get the right book in a students hand they can't resist.
Many of my students do not have accessible books at home or books they are interested in reading.
They would benefit from reading about real world experiences. In my previous experience, graphic novels have been the hook in getting my students to actually enjoy reading and wanting to do it more! My favorite thing to hear is, "Mrs. Dopson, can we keep reading please?"
Graphic novels will give reading access to all of my students and help them become engaged in reading. They will be pertinent in helping my students gain visual literacy skills and inferential skills. Graphic novels help students visualize, which is an essential skill in reading comprehension. Without being able to visualize, it causes breakdowns in a student's comprehension. In the past, I have had students who would tell you they disliked reading.
Many of my students with learning differences start out with chapter books and generally do not ever complete a full book.
As I sit down and talk with them I realize they are not enjoying the book or, reading in general, because they don't understand it. I then will suggest a graphic novel and it seems for the next few months those are what they gravitate to. It is a way to get students to start enjoy reading and increase their stamina. Then eventually, students gain confidence and will start reading chapter books.
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