In today’s world, readers need to equip themselves with the skills to do more than read only text. Images, graphics and video are all a part of the multimodal context for the modern reader. Everywhere there is a growing number of text types, and most of them are composed of multimodal elements. These elements teach not only reading but higher order thinking, including analysis and creative imagination. By using graphic novels in the language classroom, students can immerse themselves into the story and become ‘co-authors’ of the novel. Gradually, students can become more confident in linguistic literacy and visual literacy – not to mention creative literacy. Graphic novels will help your students navigate all the twists and turns of their reading journeys.

The following sharing sessions include rich materials from teachers in different schools who recount their experiences using a wordless graphic novel The Arrival in their English language classroom. Their valuable insights and useful strategies will benefit all teachers who are interested in integrating graphic novels into their curriculum. In addition to the sharing sessions, a demo class showing how to teach, encourage and support English learners when studying visual literacy through graphic novels is included at the end of the post, complete with relevant teaching materials. Thanks to the One City One Book HK project for sharing their experience with us!

Sharing Session 1: The Design of 4 Double Lessons (S2)

Speakers: Ms. Iu Wai Yun Jacqueline and Ms. Hui Mei Lin Linor from Wa Ying College

(length: 21:44)

View their presentation slides here: 

Outline of Sharing Session 1 ”The Design of 4 Double Lessons”
Introduction 00:00 – 00:47 objectives of the 4 double lessons
00:47 – 02:28 outline of the 4 double lessons
1st Double Lesson:
The Theme of Migration
02:47 – 03:36 packing luggage activity with pictures supported (students’ responses included)
03:36 – 05:05 questions relating students to being an emigrant (students’ responses included)
05:05 – 05:30 repacking luggage activity (students’ responses included)
2nd Double Lesson:
About The Arrival
05:30 – 07:52 questions checking studens’ understanding (students’ responses included)
3rd Double Lesson:
Graphics and Literary Devices
07:52 – 10:20 assignment for students to compare and analyze pictures (students’ responses included)
10:20 – 12:30 interview activities with 3 different focuses (students’ responses included)
4th Double Lesson:
12:30 – 15:35 photos sharing on group discussions, classroom activities, students’ responses, etc.
15:35 – 21:44 assignment for students to consolidate their learning (students’ responses included)

Integration of Technology: Some Suggestions

What to Use Where to Use How to Use Example(s)

Google Slides

  • To create the packing (repacking) luggage activities
  • To ask students questions
Students can easily add texts and images to the slides, either independently or collaboratively. Since Google Slides is a real-time presentation tool, all responses can be presented automatically as students engage in the activity. Click Here


  • To create the interview activities
The interviewer group can create three columns, each with a question that represents one topic of the interview, while the interviewee groups can go to their respective columns (topics) and answer the questions. They can add texts, images, links or any e-resources needed for their responses. Click Here

Sharing Session 2: Experiences with The Arrival and Visual Literacy Skills (S2, S4)

Speaker: Mr. Gareth Roberts from TWGHs Fung Wong Fung Ting College

(length: 21:11)

View his presentation slides here: 

Outline of Sharing Session 2 “Experiences with The Arrival and Visual Literacy Skills”
00:00 – 00:26 introduction
00:26 – 02:19 background information School; Learners; Teacher Training
02:19 – 07:26 support gained from other teachers Themes & Concepts; Materials & Tasks;
Supervision & Validation; Devices & Apps
07:26 – 08:55 lessons planned and implemented Objectives; Schedules; Outlines
08:55 – 16:23 recommended strategies Text Choice; Learners’ Needs; Time Arrangement; Expectations towards Learners, Grouping; Lesson Plans and Delivery; Devices; Tasks & Activities; Learning from Home; Feedback & Feedforward
16:23 – 20:35 student-made e-book
20:35 – 21:11 future lesson plans

Integration of Technology: Some Suggestions

What to Use Where to Use How to Use Example(s)

Google Slides

  • To create an e-book
Students can work on their own or in a group to create an e-book using Google Slides. They can add texts, links, shapes, images, audios and even videos for their e-books. In just a few clicks, you can access, monitor and comment on their e-books anywhere anytime. Click Here

Sharing Session 3: A Student Teacher’s Experiences (S3)

Speaker: Ms. Yan Tsoi Lam from The Education University of Hong Kong

(length: 15:55)

View her presentation slides here: 

Outline of Sharing Session 3 “A Student Teacher’s Experiences”
Introduction 00:00 – 00:40 self-introduction
00:40 – 01:09 structure of this presentation
01:09 – 02:14 messages from other student ambassadors
Taught Lessons 02:14 – 02:35 background information of the lessons
02:35 – 03:25 writing activity to help students recall their feelings about being a newcomer
03:35 – 04:55 pre-reading activities regarding the genre, the theme and the plot of the graphic novel
04:55 – 08:10 flipped classroom activity regarding the background information of the graphic novel
08:10 – 09:01 role-play activity for students to experience the separation just like the protagonist
09:01 – 10:02 ‘Character on the Wall’ activity for students to analyze characters posted on the wall
10:02 – 11:32 research activity relating the protagonist’s experiences to the immigrants’ in Hong Kong
11:32 – 12:10 speech bubbles activity for students to create dialogues for the characters of the novel
12:10 – 14:00 letter writing activity for students to write about what they have learned in the lesson
Conclusion 14:00 – 15:24 self-reflection
15:24 – 15:55 appreciation

Integration of Technology: Some Suggestions

What to Use Where to Use How to Use Example(s)

Google Slides

  • Pre-reading activities
  • Flipped classroom activity
  • Research activity
  • Speech bubbles activity
As Google Slides is a web-based application, students can be connected to a variety of resources online, favorable to the pre-reading activities, the flipped classroom activity and the research activity. For speech bubbles activity, students can not only insert texts to create dialogues for the characters, but also embed audios to make the characters come to life, which creates more authentic learning experiences for them. Click Here


  • Writing activity
  • ‘Character on the Wall’ activity
  • Letter writing activity
When it comes to showcasing students’ learning experiences, Padlet is one of the best platforms existing. Students can either create their own padlet posts to share their writing pieces or react to others’ sharing by likes, votes, stars and even grades. Moreover, students can enjoy a virtual wall for their ‘Character on the Wall’ activity by posting their character analysis under the column of a character.

Click Here
(Writing Activities)

Click Here
(Character Activity)

Sharing Session 4: Challenges and Recommended Strategies (S1, S2)

Speaker: Ms. Lee Ching Lam Jessica from The Education University of Hong Kong

(length: 23:18)

View her presentation slides here: 

Outline of Sharing Session 4 “Challenges and Recommended Strategies”
00:00 – 00:36 introduction
00:36 – 01:20 background information of the workshop she conducted
01:20 – 02:21 teachers’ feelings about using wordless books for teaching
02:21 – 03:07 students’ feelings about using wordless books for learning
03:07 – 04:44 challenges facing teachers when using wordless books
04:44 – 10:15

strategies recommended for teachers using wordless books

(do and don’ts; examples included)

active participation
10:15 – 13:15 alternative or creative strategies
13:15 – 14:58 allow time to look and reflect carefully
14:58 – 18:24 peer collaboration
18:24 – 22:18 teacher mediation
22:18 – 23:18 conclusion

Demo Class: Using the Graphic Novel The Arrival in the English Language Classroom (S2-S5)

Contributor: Ms. Esther Shaw, international visual literacy consultant

(length: 47:10)

Outline of Demo Class “Using the Graphic Novel The Arrival in the English Language Classroom”
Timeline Content Tech Tips: Using Google Slides 
00:00 – 02:05 the teacher introduced herself by relating her country to ‘migrants’ The teacher can share her slides with the whole class, allowing students to explore the pictures from their own devices.
02:05 – 03:40 students searched ‘migrant’ in Google Images and then wrote down what they thought about ‘migrant’ based on their search results Students can search Google Images right in Google Slides, which can be less confusing compared to visiting a website.
03:40 – 08:18 the teacher introduced relevant vocabularies such as ‘migrant’, ‘illegal migrant’, ‘legal migrant’, ‘migrate’ and ‘migratory’ Instead of writing on the whiteboard, the teacher can simply type the vocabularies in Google Slides for her students.
08:18 – 10:16 the teacher introduced the graphic novel The Arrival, and then students were asked to quickly flip through the novel and write down some questions on a mind map The teacher can turn on a Q&A session in Google Slides to encourage questions. If a question is meaningful, she can choose to present it.
10:16 – 15:28 students were invited to share their questions in front of the class. In the meanwhile, the teacher added ideas to the mind map
15:28 – 17:14 students were required to view pictures taken from the novel and reorder the pictures based on their understanding of the pictures The teacher can share another Google slide, asking students to make a copy of it. In their own copy, students can review and reorder the pictures with ease.
17:14 – 31:33 each student group was assigned with a poster, same pictures as assigned before, and another poster that included the thumbnails of every poster. Then, the whole class worked together to sequence the posters with the teacher helped narrate for the posters Going back to the first shared slide, students can write down their names next to a poster to form groups and then move the poster together with their group members.
31:33 – 32:47 students were required to write a sentence or two for the pictures they sequenced so that a complete narrative of the novel could be created Going back to the other shared slide, students can add texts to the pictures they sequence earlier to create a complete narrative for the novel on their own.
32:47 – 37:52 the teacher explained the literary devices adopted in the picture with reference to the questions students came up with earlier The teacher can present the pictures taken from the novel in Google Slides and then use the Pointer feature to highlight a literal device adopted in a picture.
37:52 – 46:37 students were given some statements from the teacher. They needed to think about if they agreed (stood to the left), disagree (stood to the right) or not exactly agreed and disagree (stood in the middle) and then give reasons to support their ideas The teacher can present the statements using Google Slides and then require students to duplicate a Shapes, useful for students to indicate their points of view.
46:37 – 47:10 the teacher finished the lesson All classroom activities and students’ responses are recorded automatically in Google Slides. Both the teacher and students can access the slides anywhere anytime.

View relevant teaching materials below:

Lesson Plan:
Activity Worksheet 1:
Activity Worksheet 2:
Activity Worksheet 3:
An example of using Google Slides: 

More Information on Google Slides and Padlet

To learn about using Google Slides and Padlet, visit our training course below:

Google Slides: