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Teaching With Comics Conference: Day Three Resources

Thank you for participating in Reading With Pictures Presents: Teaching with Comics, a FREE three-day fully virtual conference for educators and parents who are interested in harnessing the value of sequential art for teaching content, developing social-emotional skills, and fostering creativity among students as young as preschoolers up through university! Here are videos, teaching guides, previews, and more resources to help you engage your students with comics!

Recommended Videos

Make a Comics Journal with Ebony Flowers
Believer Magazine
Transform memories into single panel sister images by combining journaling and comics with Ebony Flowers. Ebony Flowers is a comics creator, ethnographer, and teacher. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Her debut book, Hot Comb, appeared on multiple Best Of lists; won the Eisner, Ignatz, and Believer Book Award; and received nominations for numerous others, including the NAACP Image Award and the YALSA Alex Awards.

Teaching STEM/STEAM with Graphic Novels
Library Pass Webinar
Our panel of experienced educators—Dr. Shari Brady, Tracy Edmunds, Jim Ottaviani, C.A. Preece—shared insights on their discovery process and results from using graphic novels to teach STEAM programs. The 60-minute presentation was moderated by LibraryPass’ John Shableski.

Jay Hosler TedX Talk: Science Comics Save the World
Comics are more than just the union of words and pictures; they are an emergent property that springs from the union of language and art. Yet despite the phenomenal narrative and explanatory power they present, comics have long been relegated to the realm of juvenile pabulum. At TEDxJuniataCollege, Biology professor and award-wining graphic novelist Jay Hosler explains how his use of graphic and fictional narratives engage audiences and help them understand and remember difficult scientific concepts. To the Juniata community, Dr. Hosler is best known as the Chair of the Biology Department, but to many children and young adults, he is a multiple award-winning graphic novelist and illustrator. At TEDxJuniata, Dr. Hosler will share his idea of how science comics can make an audience understand and care about aspects in the world that they never knew existed before. 

Eco Comics: Creating A Sustainable World Through Graphic Novels and Education
LItX Teacher Cohort
With the Green New Deal or a variations of it becoming a reality, the emerging iconic status of Greta Thurnberg, and the near daily announcements of a plant-based initiative from a number of fast food chains, what is undeniable is that the Earth’s well being is once again at the forefront of our global consciousness. And it is not surprising that an industry that has often been at the cutting edge of social issues has been pulling its weight when it comes to the environment. A number of creator-driven works have touched on issues ranging from climate change, sustainability, and pollution, as well as a number of the consequences stemming from said environmental travesties. The panel will focus on the creators fighting the good fight, by exploring the creative process and messaging behind their eco-conscious comics.

Get Graphic: Family Matters
NTTBF Presents
Irving Public Library’s North Texas Teen Book Festival Presents: Get Graphic: Family Matters with graphic novel authors/illustrators: Kathleen Gros (Jo), Kiku Hughes (Displacement), Trung Le Nguyen (The Magic Fish) and Victoria Jamieson (When Stars Are Scattered). #NTTBFPresents

CBLDF: Defending Comics Today
Comic-Con@Home 2021
Protecting the intellectual freedom rights of the comics community is no longer just a matter of defending comics retailers who run afoul of local authorities in search of an “easy” obscenity case or writing a letter in defense of a challenged graphic novel. Contemporary attacks on the right to make, publish, sell, and read comics and other expressive content have become legislative, algorithmic, and organized. Moderator Betsy Gomez (CBLDF, Banned Books Week) is joined by Alexis Huddleston (English teacher, Leander Independent School District), and Stephani Bercu (she/her, parent and volunteer) for a discussion about attacks on comics in Leander, Texas, while Jeff Trexler (interim executive director, CBLDF) and Karen Evans (education coordinator, CBLDF) offer perspective on other censorship issues impacting the comics community.

Professional Resources

All resources and previews are free to download. Just click the title of the resource, and when you get to Dropbox, click the Download button.

Preview: Experiencing Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing, and Creating Comics, by Rachelle Cruz
This higher education textbook shows students how to critically examine the craft and storytelling elements found inside a graphic novel or comic and spotlights groundbreaking work by comics creators and scholars from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. The second edition features fresh content on a variety of genres in comics, such as poetry, autographical, and horror comics. The text also includes new coverage on A.B.O. Comix, a collective that seeks to amplify the voices of incarcerated queer people through the medium of comics. Experiencing Comics is an excellent resource for courses in creative writing or comparative literature that focus specifically on graphic novels and comics. College level

Comics, Previews, and Teaching Guides

Digital Presentation Comic and Lesson Plan: Solution Squad in “Primer”
Solution Squad is a comic about a team of teenage heroes, each with a different math-based superpower. Created by veteran math teacher Jim McClain, the team teaches mathematical concepts in a fun and accessible way while engaging students in the story. Join the Solution Squad and be part of the solution! The digital comic Solution Squad: Primer was created specifically for classroom use. Project the comic to read as a class, or have students read it on a tablet or other digital device. Math concepts are embedded throughout the story. The lessons that accompany this comic teach different aspects of prime numbers and their uses. All lessons include directions and printable worksheets, and can be used with the whole class or small groups. Grades 4–8

Preview: Dekko Comics Issue 1
Preview: “Mental Health & Wellbeing”
Educational comics from Dekko Comics that turn KS2 school curriculum (approx. age 8-12 yrs) content into engaging comic strips, smashing motivational barriers to reading and learning. This especially includes dyslexia and autism. As a bonus they also use colour-coding and footnotes, as well as a dyslexia-friendly font. This way, our comics make learning more accessible and encourage reluctant readers to get into reading, increasing their engagement and learning retention. Welcome to schoolwork, reimagined! Grades 3–8

Soupy Leaves Home
Soupy Leaves Home
Teaching Guide
Set in 1932, this is the story of two misfits with no place to call home, who build a relationship during a train hopping journey from the cold heartbreak of their eastern homes toward the sunny promise of California. Pearl Plankette ran away from her abusive father, but has nowhere to go until she stumbles upon a disguise that gives her the key to a new identity. Reborn as a boy named Soupy, she hitches her star to Remy “Ramshackle” Renault, a hobo who takes her under his wing. Ramshackle’s kindness and protection go a long way to help Soupy heal from her difficult past. But Ramshackle has his own demons to wrestle with, and he’ll need Soupy just as much as she needs him. Written by Cecil Castelluci and drawn by Jose Pimienta, the second edition now includes an Educator’s guide written by Meryl Jaffe, PhD. Grades 6+

Dark Horse Sampler: Juvenile Graphic Novel Sampler
Features Earth Boy, Goblin, Plants vs. Zombies, and Cuphead

Dark Horse Sampler: Minecraft Graphic Novels Sampler

Dark Horse Sampler: YA Graphic Novel Sampler
Features Everyone is Tulip, Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy, Bandette, and We’ll Be Soon Home Again, comic adaptations of testimonies of six survivors of the Holocaust.

Resources from Graphix
A Guide to Using Graphic Novels with Children and Teens
Teach Graphix Week Activities: Elementary
Teach Graphix Week Activities: Middle Grades
Teach Graphix Week Activities: High School
Free lesson plans that include story starters, discussion questions, and drawing activities from Scholastic Graphix featuring favorite creators like Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier, and Jarrett K. Krosoczka.

Jay Hosler Science Comics
“Queen Bee” (All Ages)
“Cell Respiration” (High School, College)
“Photosynthesis” (High School, College)
Jay Hosler is a biologist and cartoonist on the faculty at Juniata College, and for the last twenty years he has devoted a lot of time and thought to teaching biology and making science comics. On his website you will find links to his books, publications, and more than 30 free science comics.

Recommended Title Lists

2021 ALSC Graphic Novels Reading Lists
ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children)
Graphic novels on this list are defined as a full-length story told in paneled, sequential, graphic format. The list does not include book-length collections of comic strips, wordless picture books or hybrid books that are a mixture of traditional text and comics/graphics. The list includes classics as well as new titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed, and books that have popular appeal as well as critical acclaim.

2021 Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List, Grades 6-12
Texas Library Association, Young Adult Round Table
The Texas Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List (TMGNRL) is a recommended reading list developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table (YART). The purpose of the list is to encourage students in grades 6-12 to explore a variety of current books. The TMGNRL list is intended for recreational reading, not to support a specific curriculum.

2021 Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List, Grades K-5
Texas Library Association, Children’s Round Table
The Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List is a recommended reading list designed for children in grades K-5. The purpose of the list is to encourage students to explore a variety of current graphic novels. The Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List is intended for recreational reading, not to support a specific curriculum.

2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association)

Recommended Teaching Resource Sites

CBLDF: Using Graphic Novels in Education
More than 40 free teaching guides for graphic novels, including several that have been challenged or banned in schools and libraries

Pop Culture Classroom
Graphic novel teaching guides, free Colorful History comics with guides, and the Excellence in Graphic Literature awards

Teacher Tim Smyth:
Huge body of work on teaching with comics and graphic novels

Comic Book Teachers Facebook Group
A place where educators of all levels can share their interests in comic books and graphic novels as they pertain to the classroom. Request to join!

Diamond Bookshelf
Lesson plans, reviews, core lists and more
Thanks to Diamond for being a Silver Sponsor of this event!

Social Justice Graphic Novels
A toolkit of resources on social justice graphic novels that school, public, and academic librarians, other library staff, classroom teachers, and parents can use with young adults. The project includes annotated bibliographies of graphic novels on a variety of social justice topics, as well as lesson plans and instructional activities that librarians and teachers can use as both recreational and educational resources.

Teaching Comics from the Center for Cartoon Studies
Huge list of resources includes lesson plans, study guides, syllabi, and more


Comics Uniting Nations
Free, downloadable comics from a partnership between PCI Media and UNICEF, in collaboration with The World’s Largest Lesson and Reading with Pictures, to make the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals accessible to the citizens of the world through comics.

Free educational comics from The Center for Cartoon Studies

  • Let’s Talk About It: The Graphic Guide to Mental Health 
  • Health and Wealth: A Graphic Guide to U.S. Healthcare
  • This is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance

Free graphic novels from the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Explore Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Ten Stages of Genocide through graphic novels specifically created to align with the Museum’s Ten Stages of Genocide gallery. The graphic novels depict each stage through the lens of a different genocide.

Teaching With Comics and Graphic Novels from the U.S. Department of State
Comics, webinars, instructional articles and more

The Nib
The Nib is a daily publication devoted to publishing and promoting political and non-fiction comics. We run journalism, essays, memoir and satire about what is going down in the world, all in comics form, the best medium.

Journalism in Comics Format from NPR