Minds in the Gutters and Bleeding on the Page: Literacy and Civil Rights History through the MARCH Comics Trilogy

byKrista Waldron

This unit was created for multi-age high school students as a supplemental, whole-school literacy project emphasizing social justice while targeting image and text literacy skills. The students tend to be struggling and reluctant urban readers. This unit could be used for several high school grades and courses, especially language arts and social studies.  The central texts are the MARCH graphic novel trilogy by John Lewis, et. al., with extra focus on the first volume.  There is a short history of comics, plus information on reading and teaching them, as well as a short list of resources for teachers.  The work will encourage growth of multiple literacies as students learn how to read and analyze the comics genre.  Scott McCloud’s books will be the key sources for learning specific strategies to read, analyze, and create comics and graphic texts.

(Developed for English Language Arts/Advisory, grades 9-12; recommended for English Language Arts, Social Studies, and American History, grades 8-11)

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