Deepening human connection and understanding through diverse visual narratives in the ELA classroom
Erickson, Tasheena Mesha Angel
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For too long graphic narratives and film have been marginalized and excluded from English language arts (ELA) classrooms. Along with these modalities, the over use of the literary canon in classrooms has prevented voices of diverse races and cultures from being represented or heard in the stories teachers share with their students. This paper dives into all three of these topics: graphic narrative usage, film usage, and most importantly, diversifying the texts included in ELA curriculum. After presenting findings on each of these topics, an inclusive thematic framework has been included as a suggestion, a guide to teachers who wish to move away from the canon and towards a classroom that recognizes people across races, across cultures, and across modalities. This thematic framework includes text set suggestions, film suggestions, a grading guide for choice projects, and lists of questions that will help guide both students and teachers in their journeys to recognizing the human behind all stories.