The skinny: Students have to take a story they read from Big Fat Little Lit, The Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Stories, or one of the Best American Comics anthologies and think of a way they could use the story as a thematic bridge to set up instruction of a more canonical text.
Regarding bridges stemming from the Little Lit collection:
April felt that Barbara McClintock's interpretation of "The Princess and the Pea" could be used as a bridge to Shakespeare's Pericles, since both deal with fate and coincidence in one way or another. Jonathan also wrote on the same fairy tale but bridged it to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight since both deal with the concept of questioning one's authenticity.
Kenneth saw connections between Milton's Paradise Lost and "The Baker's Daughter" since characters in both experience a sort of fall from grace and a transformation of kinds based on their behavior.
Brenda kept the British Lit mojo alive by suggesting bridging to Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130" -- you know, the one about the mistress who is lovely to the speaker but not necessarily to anyone else -- and "Pretty Ugly."
Rita found the theme of destiny vs. free will in "The Enchanted Pumpkin" and felt it could be used to build prior knowledge of the theme as it is represented in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.
Sandra saw connections between Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and "The Several Selves of Selby Sheldrake." She'd use the comic to discuss multiple identities, especially as they relate to Arthur Dimmesdale, who is many things to many people.
"Broken promises" comprise a theme that can bridge "The Fisherman and the Sea Princess" to Marie de France's Lanval, says Angela.
Thomas found Kaz's "The Hungry Horse" a perfect companion for Crane's "The Open Boat" since both deal with forms of irony. Irony isn't a theme, of course, but there are all sorts of connections regarding depravity and choices in these two texts, which Thomas pointed out when we discussed our bridges in class.
Vanessa chose a selection from the Smithsonian collection. She saw connections between Will Eisner's "Izzy the Cockroach" and Kafka's Metamorphosis, and not just because the two feature bugs as main characters. Gregor and Jacob also have many similarities in how they deal with life's angsts. I was very impressed.
Hilda also had a very intriguing thematic bridge. She pulled hers from the exquisite collection Best American Comics 2008. Hilda wanted to bridge Carre's "The Thing About Madeline" to Midsummer Night's Dream and even suggested the song "Time of the Season" by The Zombies as another textual link in the bridge. The big theme seemed to be "Who are you, really?" if I read Hilda correctly.