Students in Associate Professor Ewa McGrail’s Children and Adolescent Literature course spent spring semester studying literature from a wide range of genres and time periods.
To better understand the politics, culture, social conditions and lifestyles that influenced their reading material, students participated in a series of workshops with Georgia State University Library popular music and culture archivist Kevin Fleming and subject librarians Jill Anderson (humanities) and Denise Dimsdale (education).
“We really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with these graduate students in order to help them find creative ways to incorporate library and archival content into their own teaching,” the librarians said.
McGrail collaborated with library staff to design the workshops, which gave students the opportunity to explore artifacts – ranging from photographs of buildings, periodical publications from the time period and diaries to drawings, propaganda materials and music – that offered context to the World War II historical fiction they read during the semester. Students then designed lesson plans using these artifacts and gave short presentations on how they might teach with these materials in their own classrooms.
In addition, students studied graphic novels and teaching with primary sources, reviewed the language and rhetorical structure in contemporary graphic novels and discussed the best ways to read such texts. The library’s Special Collections and Archives provided original comic books from the 1960s and 1970s and the Comics Magazine Association of America’s editorial and advertising codes from 1954.
“The Georgia State Library and Special Collections and Archives are extremely enjoyable resources that help our graduate students and their own students connect the historical and cultural events and ideas of our past to the texts, events and ideas from today,” McGrail said.