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Just wanted to note another great graphic novel that taught me much more about the Iranian Revolution than any other piece of nonfiction could: Persepolis & Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi - the movie is also fantastic. Of course, nothing's wrong with reading a 300 page book about the Iranian Revolution to gain perspective on the topic - the question is, what is my purpose for reading about the topic? I wanted a new perspective, not a litany of facts - so I went to a genre that contained a bit of both - the historical graphic novel memoir. So often we want to "meet students where they are", and I agree with this, but I think I see Bill's point that we can't just leave them there, satisfied that they are reading something. If they are not critically analyzing and/or engaging with what they're reading - whether it be a romance novel, a graphic novel, or Charles Dickens - what's being learned? Is there a dialogue between reader and text? Even with reading for pleasure there is often a dialogue - and that's what I argue matters most - a constant construction of knowledge through an interaction with text/s. It doesn't have to always be explicit. When the students responded about reading graphic novels because "they don't have to think" - are they really not thinking? Or do they just not consider the learning that takes place what a teacher considers "thinking"? Kind of all over the place here, but I hope that makes sense. And please, read Persepolis!
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Aug 8, 2011