From Panel to Pen: Using Greek Mythology to Create Graphic Stories to Enhance the Writing Process for Young Learners

byShannon Foster-Williams

In this curriculum unit students will create graphic novel components based on historical references in order to explore how pictures tell stories.  By introducing students to the stories and characters of Greek mythology, this unit integrates visual arts, language and arts and history, connecting social studies and writing objectives with the illustrating content of visual arts. The visual arts aspect focuses on the study of skills and techniques for creating visual narrative with illustrated panels, drawings that will be adapted to create comic strips or graphic narratives.  These drawings will be used to retell the stories of Greek mythology, and in the process of making them, students will learn about a culture of the past. The students will use the images to help create a written narrative related to a mythological character of their choice.  This unit is intended to encourage storytelling and thinking creatively about the combination of pictures and text to communicate information, understand other cultures, and share stories of the past.

(Developed for Elementary Art, grade 3; recommended for Social Studies/History, Language Arts/English, and Library Science, grade 3, and Social Studies/History, grade 4)

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