Grade 7 students actively creating graphic narratives: A linear process? | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-3232
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3240



Existing literature on using graphic novels as a pedagogical tool rarely reports on the complexities of producing graphic narratives as part of disciplinary content. This article draws from a wider case study designed to explore the pedagogical potential of graphic novel texts in developing Grade 7 students’ multiliteracy skills over one school term in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Teachers’ practice did not include graphic novels so a professional development workshop was facilitated to develop strategies for the integration of graphic novel texts into the English Language curriculum. Then, teachers implemented a pre-designed teaching unit plan to formulate lessons for the study of one graphic novel text followed by the creation of conventional narratives, storytelling via words, which were then transferred into graphic narratives, storytelling via words and pictures. Lastly, students’ and teachers’ experiences, interpretations and text productions were captured through multiple data sources such as interviews, surveys and texts/artefacts. This article examines the experiences of and artefacts produced as a result of students’ making meaning of and creating graphic narrative texts. This raises questions about the ways in which conventional narrative writing strategies and knowledge might become transferrable to graphic narrative writing, and vice versa. It also raises questions about graphic novels as legitimate, stand- alone texts for making meaning and production in the research site where graphic novels had not been used prior to the intervention. A framework including sociocultural approaches to teaching and learning that emphasizes the importance of culture and context in constructing knowledge, frame the results and show the dissonance students experienced as they negotiated the diverse demands for transferring their conventional narratives into graphic narratives. In addition, the results show that some students engaged in an authentic, creative experience in which they drew on a myriad of multimodal and experiential resources. These findings contribute to the gap in the literature on the experiences of and texts/artefacts produced as a result of the integration of multimodal texts like graphic novels within the secondary English Language curriculum.


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