Action research; Social studies content reading; Graphic novels; American Revolution; Student engagement; Elementary students;
Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
Social Studies Research and Practice
Graphic novels can contribute to effective content area reading on social studies topics such as the American Revolution. This action research study’s purpose was to examine student recall of facts, enjoyment of reading, and interest in the topic when using graphic novels as compared to illustrated nonfiction prose in social studies content area reading. Twenty-two fifth grade students (13 females, 9 males) in a public school in a Midwestern state participated in the study. Half of the students read about the Boston Massacre and Patrick Henry through graphic novels and read about Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party with illustrated nonfiction texts, with the other half doing the opposite. The mean number of correct ideas recalled by students two weeks after reading two books in the graphic novel condition was 8.6 compared to 7.1 for the nonfiction prose condition with a medium effect size. Students rated their reading enjoyment significantly higher in the graphic novel condition indicating that graphic novels should be employed more often into the school curriculum. Suggestions for integrating graphic novels into the curriculum are provided along with other ways to take action.
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Original Publication Date
UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
©2013 Social Studies Research and Practice. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.
Bosma, K, Rule, A., & Krueger, K. (2013). Social studies content reading about the American Revolution enhanced with graphic novels. Social Studies Research and Practice, 8(1), 59-76. https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ci_facpub/16/