Understanding the Apocalyptic Society: The Walking Dead from Comics to Television

byBarbara Prillaman

In this unit for high school students, the pop culture of The Walking Dead regarding a zombie apocalyptic society will be used to help students learn the skills of closely reading comics and a film (in this case – a television series).  In doing so, two Common Core Standards about text analysis and speaking will be addressed. They will be able to analyze the information in both media, interpret the source texts, and participate in whole group and small group conversations. These discussions will concern a variety of things, including background information on zombies as well as the similarities and differences between the two media, determining what is compelling about each version.  Students will answer the questions: How can storytelling be the same and different with respect to the two media – comics and television series? Is one more compelling than the other? How so? How is the presentation of the characters different in the comics and the television series? What are some of the reasons for these differences? What do the two media tell us about our society – what are their messages?

(Developed for Advisory, grades 9-12; recommended for Advisory/Enrichment, English/Language Arts, and Social Sciences, grades 9-12)

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