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27 May 2014

{ArmchairBEA Day 2}: More than words

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes
Today's topic:  There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?
 Every time I see this topic, I think of the song.  Is it just me?  Well now it isn't:

Extreme, More than Words

From an education standpoint, I love graphic novels.  My students aren't always the top readers in the class, but, a graphic novel or even a mixed book like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate makes them feel accomplished.  It is a bigger book (length-wise), but because of abundance of pictures and not a lot of words, they can understand the story.  A lot of inferring (or drawing conclusions) have to be done, as well.

I also like using wordless picture books to facilitate writing in my classroom.  It's also a great way to teach inferring.  

In my own reading, I love graphic novels.  I can sit for an hour and read like 500 pages!  When I have a lot of books to read, such as for Virginia Reader's Choice, if I can crank through 2 graphic novels in a night, I get so pleased with myself.

Another media I love is audiobooks.  Again, in my classroom, I like them because my students can listen to a native English speaker reading properly.  They can hear what those hard words sound like, and focus on the story, rather than decoding the words.

In my personal life, I love to listen to an audiobook in the car on my way home from work (not to work, because that's when I listen to the Elvis Duran morning show---Hello, Lady!)  When my master's class was meeting an hour and a half away from my home, an audiobook was what kept me sane.  We've listened to Harry Potter on our cross-country trips (though I haven't finished 7 because I JUST DON"T WANT IT TO END!).

But for me, a big part of an audiobook is the narrator.  I personally think the best audiobook narrator out there is Jim Dale.  He has narrated a ton of books, but most importantly, the Harry Potter series.  His voice is just so smooth.  I could listen to him read the phone book. 

What are some of your favorite graphic novels or audiobooks?


  1. I agree with Jim Dale. I first heard him doing The Night Circus, and when I found out he did HP as well, I had to get them!! I recommended him in my More than Words audiobook recommendations.

  2. I completely agree with you. I was a second grade teacher who specialized in reading instruction and remediation. There are so many great reasons to incorporate audiobooks and graphic novels in any classroom.

  3. Audiobooks aren't really my thing because I love forming my own opinion of characters and I feel the narrator's way of voicing them influences that! But they can be really fun to listen to! I haven't read many graphic novels but have just started getting into comics! I am really loving them although I'm always disappointed when they end so quickly! I also thought of this song when I saw the topic! Great minds ;)
    Great answer, hopefully I'll see you around again soon!

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    Juli @ Universe in Words


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