Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reflection #2 - Graphic Novels and Transliteracy

When people think of libraries, they tend to only think of the books on the shelves. It's hard for people to remember that a library is so much more than that. It is a center for information. This information comes in so many diverse formats. Last week, I reflected on e-books. This week, it's all about graphic novels and transliteracy.

The first article we had to read this week, "Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe," discussed many different formats for books, including ebooks, interactive storytelling, and interactive fiction. This is something that is incredibly interesting to me. I've always loved the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. They allow you, as a reader, to control the story. While I am a fan of linear storytelling in which you follow a clear beginning all the way to the clear ending of the book, there is something so refreshing in choosing your own path through a work of fiction.

Interactive storytelling is also of interest to me. The article describes it as a way for children to have "different ways to access the content of the story." I think this is something that is very useful for our children. Not all kids learn in the same way. For them to have the option to have a story read to them, turned into a game, or to read along with highlighted text is very useful. I think these diverse types of fiction would be very useful in the classroom as well. As a teacher, I could see the benefit of having multiple types of the same novel going on in the same classroom. It would help students!

The other article we had to read was "Teaching Media Literacy with Graphic Novels." I loved the way that this article defined media literacy - a combination of "several languages or forms of communication" which include pictures, audio, and the written. This is another thing that we, as teachers and librarians, have to keep in mind. The combination of pictures, audio material, and written material helps our students learn. It puts together many of the different learning styles into one piece of text. This is why graphic novels can be so helpful for our students. It allows them to grapple with material that they may not have grappled with before. It opens their minds, as well.

The primary readings for the week - Skeleton Creek, The Arrival, and Tuesday - are examples of transliteracy and graphic novels that the articles discussed. Skeleton Creek is an interactive piece of fiction that gives readers a chance to get involved in the text. The Arrival and Tuesday are graphic novels with little to no text. They force readers to use images to create a story in their minds. The Arrival is very dark, whereas Tuesday is a lighter text. These two texts show how diverse graphic novels can really be.

Bibliographic Information for these texts:

Carman, P. (2009). Skeleton Creek. New York: Scholastic Press.
Lamb, A. (2011). Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe. Learning & Leading with Technology. 39(3), 12-17.
Monnin, K. (2010). Teaching Media Literacy with Graphic Novels. New Horizons in Education, 58(3), 78-84.
Tan, S. (2007). The Arrival. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books.
Weisner, D. (2011). Tuesday. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers.