Activity Overview

A graphic novel project is the perfect way for students to use their imaginations and write their own graphic novel, summarize the plot of a graphic novel that they have read or to have students transfer their knowledge of another piece of literature into graphic novel form. Many popular novels have been turned into graphic novels to meet a broader audience and introduce students of all abilities to rich content.

Some examples of popular or classic novels that have been adapted into graphic novels perfect for high schoolers are:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Key Fitzgerald, Fred Fordham, and Aya Morton
  • The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault
  • The Odyssey by Homer and Gareth Hinds
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel by Harper Lee and Fred Fordham
  • Jane by Charlotte Brontë, Aline Brosh McKenna, and Ramón K. Pérez
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell and Odyr
  • Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy and Octavia Butler
  • Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carrol
  • Dune: The Graphic Novel by Brian Herbert, Kevin Anderson, Frank Herbert, and Raul Allen
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Danica Novogorodoff

Some examples of powerful graphic novels meant for high school students are:

  • The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  • I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib
  • Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
  • Displacement by Kiku Hughes
  • Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • March Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell
  • I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, John Jennings, and Stacey Robinson

Check out our many more versatile Graphic Novel Templates! Remember, when giving your students an assignment in Storyboard That, you can add as many templates as you like!

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Graphic Novel Projects in the Classroom!

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a Graphic Novel Poster for a book you have read, or write your own!

Student Instructions:

  1. Within the template provided, add images and text to explain the plot of your story in sequence.
  2. Add appropriate items, characters and scenes to create the images.
  3. Look under "Speech Bubbles" to add dialogue and text.
  4. Save and exit when you're finished.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Graphic Novel Project Rubric
Create a Graphic Novel Poster that summarizes the story. The poster should have four-six images including dialogue and text that re-tell the important parts of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Plot and Design
Poster includes at least 4-6 images that accurately re-tell the story. Dialogue and descriptions match the images and enhance understanding. It is evident that time and care were taken to create a visually appealing poster.
Poster includes less than 4 images and descriptions and dialogue do not always match the images. It is evident that time and care were taken but there is some important information missing.
Poster includes less than 2 images and does not depict the important parts of the story. Descriptions and dialogue are missing or do not match the images.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar are mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling and grammar have errors which hinder understanding.
Text is very difficult to understand.

How To Pick Scenes for Creating the Graphic Novel


Introduce Graphic Novels

Before starting, teachers should familiarize the students with the concept of graphic novels. Some students might be familiar because of manga and comic books so they can also help other class fellows get familiar with the concept.


Induce a Class Discussion

Ask the students which scenes they think play the most important part in the story and which scenes they think should be included.


Recall Memorable Scenes

After students are done reading the novel, the teachers can ask them which scene was the most memorable and iconic for them. If a scene is staying in their memory after reading the whole book, it should definitely be included in the graphic novel.


Use Scenes for Visual Appeal

Students can use the scenes that have an impact on the visual appeal of the novel the most. They can also go with the scenes that they think they can portray in the best way to convey the actual story to the audience in an engaging manner.


Make Groups

In order to encourage collaboration, teachers can divide the class into groups and assign them a few scenes from the novels and at the end, all groups’ work can be combined to create one novel.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Graphic Novel Project of The Great Gatsby

What advantages can graphic novels offer for studying "The Great Gatsby"?

The graphic novel format is appealing to visual learners and provides a distinctive viewpoint on the content of the book. It gives them a different method to interact with the story and a creative outlet for their interpretations. When students are creating a graphic novel by themselves they will be able to get a deeper understanding of the novel and the viewpoint of the characters. They can also understand the intention wanting to be delivered by the original author.

What supplies and equipment are required for this project?

Students may use traditional art supplies like paper, pencils, markers, and watercolors for this project or, if available, digital tools like graphic design software. Additionally, teachers can make art equipment available as needed. Teachers can also introduce students to beginner-level scene designing platforms.

How can teachers assist students with their graphic novel project?

Teachers can offer advice on choosing scenes, constructive criticism and inspiration during the creative process, and conversations on the ideas and messages illustrated in graphic novels.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

*(This Will Start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)
© 2024 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
StoryboardThat is a trademark of Clever Prototypes, LLC, and Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office