By Girija Jhunjhunwala
As times change, the education system is seeing a lot of modifications as well. Modern day schools are revolutionising teaching methods by taking children out of the conventional text books. Playschools are reinventing education by teaching through music, dance and games. Beyond this, graphic novels are also playing a crucial role in revolutionising education by making learning easier.
Those who are new to the genre may confuse comic books with graphic novels. However, the two differ in terms of content and form. While the former comes with short, fun content, the latter entails mature and lengthier form of content, although both are depicted with words and illustrations. There are multiple ways in which graphic novels are changing the dynamics of classrooms.
Engrosses reluctant readers
Owing to different tastes, there are many children in a classroom who are averse to language subjects. These children often lag behind when it comes to learning English. Making them read a novel is a daunting task. However, with the introduction of graphic novels, the task has simplified immensely. The visuals, which are often catchy, help them understand the storyline faster as they do not have to ponder much upon the words. This often spurs an interest in reading among children.
Develops critical reading skills
When children are introduced to the world of graphic novels, the engaging stories often encourage them to start looking at various angles of the stories. This makes them proficient in critical reading skills which go a long way, especially in the world of literature.
Introduces children to various genres
Since graphic novels are spread across a multitude of genres, children, once they have developed an interest, start exploring a wide range of subjects. This brings more flexibility to the teachers as well, as they can now teach difficult subjects like history in a fun manner with the help of illustrations combined with text.
Helps children develop visual literacy
Graphic novels are a great medium to impart visual literacy. The traditional novels communicate with students on the basis of text. However, graphic novels require much more than mere reading skills. It also involves the ability to comprehend the sequence of events, character’s non-verbal gestures, perceive the story’s plot, and then make conclusions.
Important tool of learning for dyslexic students
The visuals in graphic novels act as aids for dyslexic students. They can take the help of illustrations to comprehend stories and context. The emphasis on the play of fonts, such as bold, italic, larger fonts, etc, throughout the text help students in decoding the meaning of the text without completely relying on the words alone.
Graphic novels are a great medium to introduce a culture, society, language, art, design, and many other nuances. It’s time to pick up one, for yourself, your child or your student!
(The writer is Director, Campfire Graphic Novels.)