Introduction to the Graphic Novel Lessons


Do you have students waiting to be inspired and motivated by a good read? The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli is a graphic novel that will captivate their imagination from the very first page! All the elements of a great story are at play--characters, plot, theme-- so all the literacy strategies used to teach a standard novel can be applied to this exciting adventure and the results will be outstanding. Kids love comic books!

Keeping in mind the constructivist classroom where inquiry is alive and well, the lessons included here will expand your reading lesson to an interdisciplinary experience where students will learn geography mapping skills, scientific research techniques, ancient mythology and so much more!

Authentic assessment strategies, technology integration, and real life learning are all integral to the learning process embedded in these lessons.

Stand by for adventure in the classroom!








What is a WebQuest...

Have you ever wanted your students to engage in a WebQuest related to literature, but have not found one that works for you? Have you considered using graphic novels in the classroom? Basically a WebQuest is a well thought out classroom lesson that is constructivist in nature and centers around students exploring and evaluating web information.
WebQuests are exciting for kids because as learners they become immersed in a quest to solve problems and ultimately to prepare a product for a wider audience. It is the structure of a Webquest that evokes curiosity and frames learning in a rigorous, yet enjoyable fashion . To learn by working with your peers as you explore new learning concepts, constantly ask questions, assume the role of a real life figures, solve complex problems, and proudly share creative products is something that taps right into the digital generation!

This graphic novel, lends itself to all of this and much more. Here are some of the benefits for students :

  • learn to work in teams solving problems
  • learn to meet deadlines for work completion
  • use a variety of literacy strategies in understanding text
  • learn to think critically while completing a task and evaluating information
  • learn how to evaluate web sources for reliability during research
  • learn new vocabulary
  • understand what makes a strong main character vs a minor character
  • understand what is meant by universal themes
  • apply a wide variety of 21st century skills
  • Creatively construct a digital project with new knowledge gained




Around the world with Capt'n Eli
Grades: 4-8
Subject: Geography

Overview of Lesson:
After reading The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli Volume 1 students find that Capt'n Eli and his family inhabit an island off the coast of Maine. In this lesson, students learn about map symbols and cardinal directions by designing and mapping out their own imaginary "Eagle Rock Island." Upon completion of the map, students will use longitude and latitude skills as they locate the key places in the world highlighted throughout Capt'n Eli's adventures.

(For an advanced extension, students create and develop a scaled, three-dimensional model of the island using clay or wood thus incorporating vertical as well as horizontal measurements and calculations.)

Middle level students use Google Sketch-Up to create the island in 3D. The map key with all relevant symbols and compass rose will be included.

Click Here to Print Lesson Plan



Grades: 4-8
Subject: Science

Overview of Lesson:

Students seek to answer the question, what makes Capt'n Eli's submarine float, sink and resurface? Through a series of experiments, they learn about the relationship between mass, buoyancy and density. After understanding how a submarine works, students discover the legendary "Alvin", the first deep-sea submersible able to carry passengers. Through research, students come to understand how scientists conduct underwater studies while learning about hydrothermal vents. The lesson ends with the writing prompt: How might Commander X and Capt'n Eli have used hypothermal vents in combating the evil forces attacking Aquaria?

Click Here To Print Lesson Plan




Around the world with Capt'n Eli
Grades: 4-8
Subject: Art Lesson

Overview of Lesson:

This lesson incorporates both art and writing. After having read The Undersea Adventures of Cap''n Eli, students learn about the history of newspaper adventure strips. In groups, students collaborate as they examine and discuss social and political issues of today. Ultimately, they choose a cause, imagine how Eli would respond to this cause, develop a storyline with characters, and create an original comic strip. All of the comic strips will then be published in an online classroom newspaper. Elements of art and principles of design will be integrated as students learn specific vocabulary and techniques of comic strip creation.

Time for completion

3-5 days


Click Here To Print Lesson Plan



Educational Materials authored by Laura Richter

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