My students are reluctant readers and placed in the class in order to boost their reading skills. Many brag about never having completed a book in their entire educational career. Thus, my students need high-interest texts in order to expand their critical reading and thinking skills. By engaging the full class with a graphic novel that investigates the dark history of a nearby Chicago neighborhood, students will continue to investigate non-fiction texts that they would have regularly rejected. This text is the gateway to more difficult texts that will ultimately improve their reading and analytical thinking.
The Beast of Chicago graphic novel will be used in conjunction with excerpts from Devil in the White City. With both texts, we will examine the early history of Chicago and how it has changed over the years. This graphic novel is a quick and engaging read for all students who usually groan at reading.
Students will learn about HH Holmes's sordid past and attempt to figure out how it took so long for this psychopath to be caught.
They will create their own evidence based mini-comic book in response to both texts in which they examine the ways in which someone so evil could go undetected in society. These books allow a window into another time of our city. It engages students all types of students to consider how such evil occurs and how we can work to stop it. With this graphic novel, it will allow us to tackle the more difficult text of Devil in the White City, and ultimately improve reading comprehension skills.
I have witnessed how graphic novels have engaged all types of reluctant readers. This text does the trick and engages all students in a continued investigation into Chicago's mysterious history.
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