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Graphic History

Reading comics is serious work! OER Project’s graphic biographies are small stories that challenge big historical narratives. Students develop new literacy skills as they learn to decode these graphic histories.

Exploring Graphic Biographies

When you’re trying to teach all human history, it’s easy to lose sight of the people. Suddenly, you realize you’re teaching a big history of humanity, and you’ve hardly mentioned any humans! OER Project’s graphic biographies help students put the humans back in human history.

How to Read Graphic Histories
In this one-day lesson, students gain the tools they need to read—and write—history comics as they consider how their own personal stories fit into the vastness of human history.
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Graphic Histories: From the Artists' Perspective
Graphic histories bring historical narratives to life and add fresh perspective to OER Project courses. In this blog, graphic artists Stephane Manuel, Tessa Hulls, and Argha Manna explain why find this genre so powerful.
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Four Millennia of Graphic Biographies
Once your students know how to decode comics, it’s time to start exploring the many graphic bios in our World History Project and Big History Project courses. These one-page comics tell the story of dozens of individuals who shaped the human past and our understanding of the Universe. Find them all in this handy PDF.
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Black Voices and Graphic History

A three-part series on the use of comics in the social studies classroom that focuses largely on Black creators and subjects, both in recognition of Black History Month and to acknowledge the importance of celebrating Black voices year round.

A Serious History of Black Comics Creators
Comics can be powerful—and empowering—tools. In this first-of-three blog posts, historian Trevor Getz reflects on the unique qualities that comics bring to the classroom as he explores the contributions of Black comics creators in the past century.
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Finding Meaning in Graphic Histories
In this second post, Dr. Getz explains how writing Abina and the Important Men helped him redesign his world history course and rethink how he approached comics in the classroom.
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Revealing Invisible Voices
In this final essay, Dr. Getz explains how OER Project’s graphic biographies can communicate both big, world-historical ideas as well as individual human experiences—helping to reveal voices that are often left out of historical narratives and rendered invisible in the historical record.
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Graphic Biographies

Graphic histories for your classroom.

Want graphic biographies for a single lesson on World War I? Or maybe you need dozens of individual voices to supplement a full world history curriculum? Are you looking to reveal the hidden figures who shaped our scientific knowledge? We’ve got you covered! Register for free to access our middle- and high-school courses.

EXPLORE OER PROJECT LESSON PLANS

OER Project courses and lessons create curious, creative, and connected students. Our free, online resources are designed to support teachers and power amazing classrooms. Explore more of our lesson plans on a variety of topics in social studies!

Continuity and Change Over Time (CCOT)
What’s changed? And what’s stayed the same? Build your students’ skills with our best resources for teaching CCOT as they learn to recognize factors that transformed how people lived and continue to live today.
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The Age of Revolutions
An age of revolutions transformed the modern world. In these lesson plans, students become revolutionary chefs and ask, How do you make a revolution?
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The Columbian Exchange
Explore a critical turning point in global history as your students learn how new routes of exchange and the interconnection of previously isolated continents changed the world forever.
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Enjoying the Graphic Biographies Lesson Plans? We have more where that came from.

OER Project courses and lessons create curious, creative, and connected students. Our free, online resources are designed to support teachers and power amazing classrooms. Join our active community of educators to learn more.
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    • Activities 284
    • Articles 163
    • Videos 154
    • Closing 42
    • Opening 35
    • Assignments 51
  • Ship sailing on a historical map
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    • Articles 194
    • Activities 215
    • Videos 90
    • Assignments 46
  • Nanban art screens showing the arrival of a Portuguese ship
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    • Activities 226
    • Videos 64
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