Selected texts: suggested teaching approaches
The following texts were explored by the different groups who made suggestions for ways of using them in the classroom. The texts are a mixture of what might be thought of as primary and secondary level books. But high-quality illustrated books can be used by students at different key-stages, so, for example, Quentin Blake’s textless Clown could be used by secondary students to explore narrative structure and theory as well as by reluctant younger readers who need to develop their speaking and listening skills.
KS3 Macbeth by William Shakespeare (the graphic novel) Suggested teaching approaches: 1. Prior to reading the text, ask pupils to sequence selected frames or consider what sort of story this might be. 2. Prior to looking at the text, listen to a reading or performance of the first scene. Then, using an outline from the graphics, get students to create one of the witches. 3. Take a key speech and blank out the speech bubbles. Then ask pupils to apportion the text to the appropriate speech bubbles, giving reasons for their decisions. 4. Compare this text to a Manga edition. 5. Take a short section of the text and analyse the way it is complemented (or not) by the images. 6. Animate a key scene using Moviemaker. 7. Act out an episode or scene in the style suggested by the cartoon. 8. Produce an additional sequence in a similar or different style. 9. Storyboard any missing scenes. 10. Focus on a particular character, analysing the way he/she may be thinking or feeling at selected moments in the play. How do the images reinforce or contradict your views?
KS1/2/3/4 Clown by Quentin Blake Suggested teaching approaches: 1. Explore the narrative structure and link it to narrative theory. 2. Create a linear sequence of the story by dividing it into ‘chapters’. 3. Explore the possible ‘story before the story’. What was the clown’s story before he came to be thrown out? 4. Explore the dual narratives in the story, for example, by telling the story from the point of view of another character. 5. Approach the text through drama, for example, by hot-seating various characters. 6. Explore some of the PSHE links, for example, recycling, wealth and poverty, etc. 7. Using a selected page, get children to ‘thought-bubble’ each character
KS1/2/3 Beegu by Alexis Deacon Suggested teaching approaches: 1. Give the pupils a few of the illustrations and ask them to arrange them so that they tell a story. Invite them to tell their story to other pupils in the class. 2. Explore the use of colour in the book. What does ‘yellow’ say about Beegu? 3. Explore the text through emotional literacy. What does the book have to say about the ‘big ones’ and the ‘small ones’? 4. Talk about some of the other things that might have happened to Beegu during the course of the day. 5. Find appropriate music to add to the text. 6. Freeze frame one of the incidents in the book and ask pupils to add their own speech bubbles. 7. Explore the way we see our world. For example, how does Beegu see a hula hoop? Share a selection of day to day items and ask pupils to discuss what a being from another planet might make of them.
KS2/3 Mythological Monsters by Sara Fanelli Suggested teaching approaches: 1. Compile some more ‘quiz-type’ questions, using the questions at the back of the book as a model. Then try them out on other pupils. 2. Approach the text through drama, for example, by hot-seating or thought-tracking some of the monsters. 3. Ask pupils to make their own book of monsters. Pupils might work in pairs to produce a double-page spread, thus contributing to a class book of mythological monsters. Encourage the use of collage, drawing or painting. 4. Explore the non-fiction elements of the book. 5. Use the book as a basis for further research. 6. Exploit the links with other subjects, such as history and geography. 7. Explore the reason why human eyes have been used in the monsters.