The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) outline the curriculum requirements for every student in Texas. The English Language Arts and Reading section for middle school and high school includes a Viewing and Representing strand requiring students to:
Understand and interpret visual images, messages and meanings
Analyze and critique the significance of visual media
Evaluate how different media forms influence and inform
Francisca Goldsmith's introduction to the American Library Association's Teen Read Week Web site states, "Graphic novel readers have learned to understand not only print, but can also decode facial and body expressions, the symbolic meanings of certain images and postures, metaphors and similes, and other social and literary nuances teenagers are mastering as they move from childhood to maturity." Which is exactly what Viewing and Representing is all about.
Need a little more than a great quote to hand to your principal?
Then check out this link to the Texas Center for Reading & Language Arts website. The collaborative efforts of the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin , the Texas Education Agency and the Region XIII Education Service Center have produced a Professional Development Guide entitled, "Teaching the Viewing and Representing Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in the English Language Arts Curriculum." Scroll down to pages 33-40 and see the Graphic Novel/TEKS connection.