Crafting a Critical Literacy Skillset: An Improved Use of Visual Modalities

James O. Barbre


The goal of literacy development at schools is a standing feature of the curriculum. In spite of this, the means to develop critical thinking in students often comes up short. The development of literacy and critical thinking can be presented in engaging and memorable ways, but schools often defer to what they have done in the past; namely through textbooks and worksheets. This article will argue that the greater and structured incorporation of graphic novels and comic literature, but from a critical literacy perspective, will have the effect of increasing engagement of the subject matter. A closer engagement through visual means, coupled with a teaching pedagogy that directly supports critical literacy skill development builds the best experience and engagement of student learning.


Graphic Novels, Comic Literature, Critical Literacy, Modalities, Analysis, Literacy Instruction

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