Skip to main content

Graphic Novels and Fantasy Books Spark Student Creativity

Superhero, fantasy, and science fiction genres offer useful books to support active learning lessons in the classroom. These genres adapt well to graphic novels. The Creative Thinking site is pleased to provide instructional Book Discussions which further support awareness of plagiarism, citing sources, respecting copyright, and other topics.  

Superhero comics are a great tool to teach younger students about intellectual property and creating their own original comic book stories and drawings. See our Superhero Comic Book lesson for more.

The books Masterpiece and Scumble are utilized here within our Book Discussion section for Upper Elementary instruction to support language arts lessons. Analyzing the creativity of the characters of these popular tween novels engages young students. It helps them to proactively explore new directions to build stronger synthesizing research skills, such as reflective writing, as well as information ethics and legal awareness. They learn to respect others’ intellectual works, to avoid plagiarism, and to become aware of copyrights, trademarks, and patents which could also apply to their own creative works.

Graphic novel adaptations of classic short stories by Edgar Allan Poe are presented here for Middle School students. The book discussions of the various works of Poe offer students the opportunity to apply their knowledge about citing sources and writing literary criticism reviews. Students also learn about Public Domain, Source Citations, Rhymed Stanza, Narrative Poetry, and Story Themes.

The graphic novel The Complete Maus is presented here as a lesson plan for high school students. This lesson for 11th graders utilizes a discussion of the graphic novel and the creation of graphic novels about the Holocaust by the students themselves, pulling information from The Complete Maus and other primary and secondary sources.

Graphic Novels: Guide for Teachers & Librarians  

Scholastic Inc. (publishing company) provides an introduction to Using Graphic Novels for educational applications. Graphic Novels motivate children and teens to read. School librarians and teachers claim that Graphic Novels appeal to "reluctant readers" such as boys. Graphic Novels are not merely comic books as many offer subject and content found in novels and non-fiction works. Besides fictional stories, Graphic Novels are available for history, science, literature, and art.