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Education

Our main aim is to make classical literature appealing to all; needless to say, this starts with younger readers and in education. To aid in differentiation in classes of mixed abilities, our range provides multiple text versions of each title, with the range broken down into "Shakespeare" and "Classics".

Shakespeare Range
In order to be true to the Bard's works, our Shakespeare titles feature the entire script, unabridged, in the original setting. That is our starting point - the "Original Text".

Our research revealed how the complex Shakespeare language can deter many readers, especially those coming to a play for the first time. To cater for that, we publish a translation into plain English (from the entire script) that we call "Plain Text".

We took this process a stage further to create our third reading level, "Quick Text", that features reduced and simplified dialogue for younger and reluctant readers. This version is also ideal for students where English is not the first language, and also for a quick introduction to the play for even mature students.

Here is an example of the three levels of text in a panel from Macbeth:

 

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"By mixing tradition with a more creative approach to the curriculum, we will achieve our objective of producing successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens."
- Ken Boston, Chief Executive of QCA

"This is a fun way of getting into the stories. Plays are not meant to be read but to be seen. The illustrations in these books are an easy way of following what is going on.
The genius of Shakespeare is in the language but for some students understanding it can be a struggle. It will be useful for teachers to have three different versions of the text
"
- Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association for the Teaching of English

Original Text

Plain Text

Quick Text

Three text versions, linked to vibrant and exciting, yet realistic artwork, ensures that all students can engage with the text.

Classics Range
Remembering that the Classical Comics range of titles is designed to overcome a reluctance to reading, we decided that limiting the page count to 120-180 pages was important. Long enough to offer a satisfying read, but not too long that it discourages the reader. Therefore, our Classics Range needs to abridge the titles to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the length of the original novel.

The "Original Text" version features the authors words, carefully selected to augment the strong artwork that covers much of the descriptive prose.

We soon realised that the Original Text was straightforward to understand, and therefore decide not to create a Plain Text version of titles in this range; however we do create a "Quick Text" version that features a reduced and simplified version of the Original Text, just as for our Shakespeare titles.

Our range provides a unique classroom opportunity to teachers:

  • Inclusive Teaching
    Our three text versions allow a single class of mixed abilities to work with the same story. Lesser-able readers can use the Quick Text version, while the more-able readers can use the Plain Text or Original Text versions, giving you a classroom of pupils, of whatever ability, effectively reading from the 'same' page.

  • Cross-Curriculum
    The books can be used to encompass core and foundation curriculum subjects including English language, English literature, history, art and drama as well as inspiring individual creativity within children.

  • Reluctant Readers
    Experts in the field, and teachers we are working with, believe that this medium promotes literacy in the most reluctant readers. A paper on the subject, courtesy of Mel Gibson and LTScotland gives the full picture: Graphic Novels across the curriculum

  • Teaching Classics at age 10
    As our model schools have found, the books can be used from age 10 onwards utilising the Quick Text versions for classroom work, and Plain English plus Original Text for smaller reading groups. Designing cartoons based on the novels, then creating a new story, or ending, have been particularly successful with this age group.

  • Getting Boys to Read
    A current, well-documented challenge! Our books have been greeted by boys of all ages with massive enthusiasm. Quotes such as "I didn't know that Shakespeare could be so cool" and "I would read these at home too" came from our latest focus group looking at Henry V. The "high-impact" graphics make a world of difference here, appealing to readers on a visual level regardless of their reading ability.

  • Teachers Resources
    For each title in our range we publish a Teaching Resource Pack, full of activities that link with the text. Each 100+ page book includes a companion CD with the pages of the Resource Pack in Adobe Acrobat format, for printing and displaying on whiteboards, etc. The Packs are spiral bound to make the pages easy to photocopy.

 

"This is a means in which to reawaken youth to the magic of literature."
- Leah, teacher, Canada

"It's interesting to explore this phenomenon further and discover how these graphic forms of celebrated text can do a great deal to the already existing excitement of Shakespeare in the classroom!!"
- Lauren, teacher

"Where was this when I wasn't reading King Lear and Tale of Two Cities in High School? Seriously, I think it is an inspired idea. Some would say that this would be a good tool for the lazy student, but the fact is that there are students that cannot read that well, no matter how hard they try. Why shouldn't they have the chance to understand the content and participate in class discussions?"
- Scott Tingley, Comics in the Classroom, Canada

"The trouble is, Shakespeare wrote those words nearly 400 years ago and language has changed since then. The interesting thing about these comics is that they have 3 versions- the original Shakespearean text, a plain text which translates the words into Modern day English and a quick text version which condenses the meaning into as few a words as possible. "
- Naomi, teacher

"As a long serving primary school teacher who, for very complicated reasons, finds herself teaching KS3 Shakespeare, may I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful 'Much Ado' resources.

Thank you!
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- Mandy, teacher

"the Original Text version is like watching the play; all of the dialogue included. So this version would be good for any student. The Original Text version could help the students reading the original version double check for understanding, and the Quick Text can be for anyone that needs it."
- Scott Tingley, Comics in the Classroom, Canada

Try it for free!
Download our free black-and-white sample sheets featuring scenes from, amongst others, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest. Click Here for our free downloads!