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Comics for Classrooms: Grades 9-12

Title

Diverse Recommendations

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart vol 1

From the violent streets of Chicago, a new armored hero rises! Clad in her very own Iron Man armor, Riri Williams is ready to show the world what she can do as the self-made hero of tomorrow. Her technology just might change the face of the Marvel Universe forever...if she survives the experience. But is she ready for all the problems that come with stepping into Iron Man's jet boots? 

Infidel

A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia.

adult

The Night Wanderer

16-year-old Tiffany’s curiosity is piqued when her father rents out her room to a complete stranger. But little do Tiffany, her father, or even her insightful Granny Ruth suspect the truth about their guest, Pierre L'Errant. After centuries roaming Europe as a brooding vampire, he has returned home to reclaim his Native roots before facing the rising sun and certain death. One night, in the midnight woods, a chilling encounter with L’Errant changes everything as Pierre introduces Tiffany to her proud Native heritage. For Pierre, though, destiny is fixed at sunrise.

grades 9+

Ms. Marvel vol. 1

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. 

Hawkeye vol. 4: Rio Bravo

After a long and harsh battle, Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye has become deaf. Struggling to re-orient his life and figure out where he goes from here, Clint is confronted with his past when his brother, Barney unexpectedly re-enters his life. After a lifetime of decisions both good and bad, Clint and Barney Barton have to realize that they are brothers and ultimately, they're the only ones who can save one another. I mean, if they don't kill each other first. 

Sweet Blue Flowers

On the first day of school, Akira Okudaira runs into her best friend from kindergarten at the train station. Now Akira and Fumi have the chance to rekindle their friendship, but life has gotten a lot more complicated since they were kids… Fumi is glad Akira is back in her life. Even in kindergarten, Akira knew how to stand up for herself, and she was always willing to stand up for Fumi too. But Fumi’s first love recently got married, and Fumi is grappling with a broken heart and the fact that her sweetheart was another woman.

grades 10+

War Brothers

When fourteen-year-old Jacob is brutally abducted and forced to become a child soldier, he struggles to hold on to his sanity and the will to escape. Daniel Lafrance’s striking artwork and the poignant, powerful text capture the very essence of life as a child soldier. Readers will never forget the experiences of this young boy struggling to survive, unsure who to trust, afraid of succumbing to madness, and above all, desperate to get to freedom. In the end, Jacob engineers a daring escape.

ages 14+

Anya's Ghost

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who's been dead for a century. 
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend―even a ghost―is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. 

ages 12-17

Astonishing X-Men #51

The X-Men return to New York City, but it's not a social call - the Marauders are back! Something from Northstar's past has resurfaced and is looking for revenge - and when his boyfriend Kyle goes missing, will Northstar choose him or the team? Plus: Karma is losing control of her mind and taking control of the other X-Men - but all that pales in comparison to how this story ends!

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

In 1994, in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago's South Side, a 14-year-old girl named Shavon Dean was killed by a stray bullet during a gang shooting. Her killer, Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, was 11 years old. Neri recounts Yummy's three days on the run from police through the eyes of Roger, a fictional classmate of Yummy's. Roger grapples with the unanswerable questions behind Yummy's situation, with the whys and hows of a failed system, a crime-riddled neighborhood, and a neglected community. 

ages 14+

Signs and Voices

A totalitarian regime – the Hearing Front – that is in pursuit of a secret source of power that lies in the very community it has set out to destroy – the deaf community. Not just a brief encounter with one deaf character, but detailed insights into the deaf culture and world. The story world includes an array of deaf characters using sign language, which is relevant and correct in their world.

ages 13-17

March Book One Tutorial

Lesson Plan: March: Book One

Resource: March: Book One by John Lewis

Grade: 9-12

Areas: History, Cultural Diversity, Literary Analysis

Summary: March Book One is the memoir of Congressman John Lewis (District 5, Georgia) who has had a long and distinguished political career. Lewis is an iconic figure in the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans, and that struggle is the broader subject of his story – as is the resiliency and courage it takes to effect large-scale social change and correct injustices.

Lesson:

  • Create a Comic Strip to illustrate (in your opinion) the five most significant events in March. Include brief dialogue and/or illustration for each event. Identify the key points that are important to that specific event in the text. Think about quotes that could be used to help create meaning in each panel.
  • Create a Character Map for three characters in March. It's important to add as many details as you can to all parts of the map. Include an appropriate illustration based on the the character traits outlined in the graphic novel.
  • In Mind Map or Storyboard, choose two or three of the major themes and for each one, choose two pieces of evidence that enhance this theme: identify the theme in the panel title, create an image that summarizes the them and evidence, and include a quote or specific example that fits the theme.

Lesson Plan: Teaching Literary Devices with Comics

Comic lifeResource: Comic Life program; comics of teacher's choice

Age: 12-18

Areas: English, Fine Arts

Summary: Students will learn about literary devices featured in narrative texts and analyzed by readers to understand the meaning of the text. Choice of literary devices for these lessons is left to the teacher, who uses picture books or comics used to model analysis of the focus elements. Students then use the software program Comic Life to create their own comics featuring literary devices taught in the class.

Lesson: 

  • Begin by introducing the literary device selected for this unit. Explain that readers look for details that may suggest a future plot turn. In addition, readers pause during the reading to recall previous clues that may have first seemed insignificant, but now have taken on importance.  
  • Now that students are comfortable with what foreshadowing is and the techniques used, give students examples of other comics or excerpts from graphic novels that contain similar techniques.  
  • Invite students to work together to select a comic or graphic novel excerpt and discuss foreshadowing used. Ask partners to compose a written summary of the story, with the attached comic.  Use a data projector to show students how to use the Comic Life software program. Over one or two class periods, ask students to work in pairs to review digital photos and construct a story using the literary device foreshadowing that you have been teaching them. 

 

Lesson Aids