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Lesson Plan

Pictures Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis

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Pictures Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Janet M. Ankiel

Basking Ridge, New Jersey


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon Books, 2003)

  • Sticky notes

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1. Familiarize yourself with the genre of graphic novels as necessary. Review the Graphic Novel/Comics Terms and Concepts reference sheet and make a copy for each student in your class. The following websites might prove helpful in providing background information as well:

2. Obtain and familiarize yourself with Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. You will need copies of the book for each student in your class. Read the introduction, which provides good background information to share with students as needed. Review the first three chapters and carefully examine the various panels and frames that you will highlight for students. On Writing Persepolis and The Complete Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi are websites providing reviews, interviews, and background information about the book that you might find useful.

3. Examine the Oral Presentation Criteria sheet and decide if these skills are appropriate for your students.

4. Before beginning this lesson, provide students with background information about both graphic novels and the history surrounding Persepolis as necessary. You might want to teach a lesson about the history of the Middle East, including some background about the Iranian Revolution, such as Gaining Background for the Graphic Novel Persepolis: A WebQuest on Iran. Alternatively, you might have students visit some of the websites you reviewed during Step 1.

5. Make one copy of the Graphic Novel/Comics Terms and Concepts and the Oral Presentation Criteria sheets for each student in your class. You will also need copies of the Anecdotal Observation Form to take your own notes during Session 3.

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