Abstract 2, Volume 10, Number 2, Summer 2015

How Should We Remember the Alamo? Critical Analyses of Four Graphic Histories

Marianne Snow

Margaret Robbins

University of Georgia

Abstract

This article examines, elementary leveled graphic history, a genre of literature relatively untouched by research. Due to graphic nonfiction’s growing popularity in the realm of children’s literature and its potential benefits for young readers, teachers may want to incorporate this genre of literature into their social studies curriculum. Despite the genre’s appeal, educators should be careful when introducing graphic histories to their students, as nonfiction texts of any kind can possibly contain inaccuracies and biases that might foster misconceptions. In this study, we used a critical content analysis approach to investigate both images and text in four graphic histories on the Battle of the Alamo. We found these books contain several instances of factual errors and biased perspectives. After our analyses, we discussed implications for using these types of books in the classroom to help students enhance critical literacy skills. We connected recommended critical literacy activities to Common Core State Standards for informational texts and writing.

Keywords: graphic novels, nonfiction, social studies, elementary grades, Alamo, critical literacy, children’s literature

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