Teaching Shakespeare with a Graphic Novel

by Dr Davis on December 31, 2012

I am teaching Shakespeare with a graphic novel. I did this last semester and I will do it this semester. I think that when the students are reading something which wasn’t intended to be read, they need visuals. John McDonald’s The Tempest: The Graphic Novel (American English, Original Text) is a great work for this.

I particularly like it because it uses American spelling, but keeps the entirety of the text of the play in the book.

The students in general enjoy the graphic novel.

It also makes the quizzes more fun. I stick a picture of the character up and ask for an identification.

I purchased the teacher’s workbook for the text and have used it in class for exercises and activities. I would recommend it, if you want some ideas for in class work that you don’t have to think about in order to put together.

I chose this graphic novel, as opposed to one of his others, because this is one of Shakespeare’s romances (at least as defined by Chelsea Publishers) and I have written on it. None of the other romances is presently available from McDonald as a graphic novel. There are other graphic novels, but I haven’t seen them. I was at a conference when I saw this one and was immediately intrigued with the idea.

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