Alyson King writes in “Cartooning History: Canada’s Stories in Graphic Novels that graphic narratives can increase students’ understanding of history because the genre, with its reliance on narrative, image, and dialogue, furthers the concept that history is a complex system with interrelated parts. As humans we tend to remember best through story and image, making emotional connections through colour and form, with language helping us recognize patterns of human experiences across time. In this exercise, students from Ms. Desrochers’ Social Studies 10 class transform a linear presentation of history from their textbook into a complex interplay of image, voice, and point of view. Using the graphic novel, Louis Riel, by Chester Brown as a model, students used their creative abilities to reconstruct knowledge creating original works as a means of personal expression and understanding . Using the norms of graphic novels such as dialogue, action, and perspective, the students were able to get in the head of the characters and focus on the humanity that drive historical events.
Connection to redesigned curriculum – Social Studies 10
Big Ideas (just a few)
- Developments in Canadian society can be view in many different ways depending on an individual’s worldview or perspective.
Curricular Competencies (just a few) :
- Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to: ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions.
- Assess the justification for competing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence (evidence)
- Explain different perspectives on past or present peoples, places, issues, and events by considering prevailing norms, values, worldviews, and beliefs (perspective)