Unit 4 - lesson overview

Graphic Details - Lesson Overview

It seems to be popular these days to refer to oneself as a "visual learner." The thing is, we all are.  That is the way that human brains work.  It is also why we are seeing a trend towards more visually based communication.  

In this unit, you will be learning about the art of storytelling using both words and graphics.  If you now believe that comics are kids stuff, you will have changed your mind by the end of this unit. You will be finding out about the sophisticated techniques used by cartoon artists and graphic novelists. You will begin to see how these storytellers think in terms of visual communication, using text and drawings as different tools, each with its own strength and purpose. 

You will start with the short assignment in which you begin to think about drawings you have seen that have changed the way that you view the world. 

You will then go on to the first book where you will read about children's literature and to think about why they feature drawings so prominently.  You will watch a video in which a cartoonist explains her way of seeing the world.  You will read some comic strips and examine a piece of cartoon art before diving into the brave new world of webcomics. 

This will take you on to a short assignment in which you will critique three comic strips, looking at purpose, characterization, and plot in addition to drawing technique. 

After this, you will learn all about graphic novels and how to read them before heading down to your public library to peruse the shelves and select a novel that suits you.  As you read this graphic novel, you will keep track of everything that is going on using the worksheet provided.  You will be asked to consider how reading a graphic novel is different from reading a traditional text-only novel. 

Lastly, you will get a chance to create your own graphic narrative, either by hand-drawing or using the software at your disposal.  

Once you have done this, you can get on to the quiz for Unit 4.  

Time Management for Unit 4

Task Time needed
short assignment - cartoons as agents of change  15 minutes
Reading content (including choosing your graphic novel) 6 hours

Major assignment  - individual graphic novel study including author and novel research

                           -creating your graphic narrative

3 hours

4 hours

Unit Quiz 1/2 hour

How much time you spend reading a graphic novel obviously depends on the novel.  The above is a guideline.  If you get through your graphic novel in an hour, it is probably too short for this assignment.  Try to find something that will take you a few one or two hour reading sessions.

Key terms for Unit 4

Purpose - Why the author created this work.  Is it to entertain, describe, inform, explore theme or persuade?

Tone: What is the attitude of the creator(s) of this work to the subject? Is the author's tone sincere or ironic? Does the author make fun of any characters?

Plot - This describes the events of the story in both words and pictures.  The plot is about what happens in the story. 

Irony - Showing or saying the opposite of what is said, meant, expected or intended.  If the author depicts a superhero as klutzy, that is ironic.

Graphic Novel - Essentially, a book-length comic.  However, graphic novels distinguish themselves by using many of the sophisticated, literary techniques usually used by novelists.

Visual Pun - Word-play which involves an image. For example, see if you can sight an egg, when a character says "exciting" (egg sighting) in one of the comics you will read.

Satire - A technique whereby an author makes fun of a recognizable individual in order to point out that person's shortcomings. Satire intends to ridicule people into improvement.

See you in the funny papers!

Last modified: Sunday, 31 July 2016, 3:56 PM