Yes, we can teach reading, writing, speaking and listening, and critical thinking skills using this amazing graphic novel which has no “words!”
It’s a journey about who we are, where we have come from, and the humanity we share. It’s about hope and love and understanding. At times powerful, at times breathtakingly beautiful . . . Shaun Tan’s The Arrival should be on every bookshelf in every classroom.
This 100+ page teaching guide and unit has been developed over the past three years in my advanced literacy class for 5th grade (use it for 6-12th as well or as an independent project for gifted learners). You have my promise your students will love it. They will be inspired. They will think about their world as they are captivated by the poetic, entrancing, and cinematic elements of The Arrival. And you, their teacher, will not only feel satisfied that you are bringing best practices and the Common Core to your classroom, but you will also be awed by the synergy created through your sensitive and brilliant 21st Century Learners. Big promises? This unit delivers.
What? Reading when there are no words? Your students will create the language, tell the stories, discuss, deliver speeches, and write analytical responses. In the meantime, their brain’s synapses are firing away—connecting the right and left hemispheres with images and language and creating a valuable learning opportunity. They’ll practice artistic and graphic design skills, too. They’ll use best practice in history through primary sources. They’ll make 3D art, create projects, write poetry and narratives, and—by golly—prepare for state testing in reading and writing along the way.
This unit is packed with critical thinking questions, written response forms, analytical graphic organizers, templates, grading rubrics, primary sources, samples of student work, explanations and instructions, and ready-to-print activity sheets of all sorts. You will never use them all! You’ll have the opportunity to pick and choose the most interesting and appropriate activities for your students, and everyone will be challenged along the way.