How do you motivate a child to enjoy something they work so hard to avoid? Maybe it is time to introduce them to the exciting world of Graphic Novels.
After many encounters with reading challenges, some kids may begin to believe that they are not capable of reading success. They not only have a history of reading failure, they have developed attitudes and coping strategies which lead them to avoid, rather than fix, their reading problems. To make matters worse, these struggling readers are surrounded by texts that are much too difficult for them, destroying their motivation to read.
Excellent research is being done on this genre of “visual literature” also known as, Graphic novels. Graphic novels are books in which “images and text arrive together, work together, and should be read together”(Gravett, 2005). Looking much like comics, the illustrations in graphic novels blend with the text, which often attracts unmotivated readers who are intimidated by text alone. The visual story-line helps the reader comprehend the text, even when print alone fails.
In a world that is very visually stimulating with new technology, it is difficult to inspire interest in accessing the rich vocabulary and story plot that traditional literature offers. Graphic novels seem to be a way to spark interest and motivate kids to read more often. In fact, due to the exploding popularity of these books, the same titles can be equally appealing to both reluctant and advanced readers.
Graphic novels represent a ‘cool’ way to read that will keep the spark of enjoying reading alive. Before you know it, these children who are plagued with poor motivation will be convinced that reading can be fun!
For more information visit these websites:
Samantha Brooks, MSE, Dyslexia Therapist
Samantha Brooks is an Intern Instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy.