Classroom Comics: A five-part narrative recounting a teacher action research study using comics to teach academic vocabulary in the middle grades

Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Nicholas E. Husbye, PhD


Rogers, Rebecca, Ph.D.

Wendy Saul, PhD

Daniel Yezbick, PhD


A series of five, serially produced, self-published comic books presents the genesis, execution, and subsequent analysis and discussion of a teacher action-research study using the multimodal affordance of comics in a formal, qualitative research study designed to teach highly-valued, state-tested academic vocabulary words to 8th grade middle school students in an urban K-8 setting, where 96 percent of the population was eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, and 80 percent of the school population were children of color. Building upon a socio-cultural view of literacy the author/researcher employs the narrative affordance of the comics medium ironically -- to demonstrate the autobiographical, self-reflexive, action research method, to illustrate the efficacy of comics in teaching and learning, and polemically to suggest the rational harnessing and employment of children’s out-of-school, multimodal technoliteracies in the modern, middle school classroom.

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