Using Comics in Class
Student comic strips are a great way to engage students and allow them to be creative as they report or create. We have been creating comic strips using http://www.makebeliefscomix.com. You do not need to sign up to use this site and you can either email or print the finished comicstrip.
My students created cartoon strips in response to a reading assignment that they had to complete. Their assignment was to create a cartoon that illustrated some of the concepts learned in our study of the book The 7 habits of Highly Effective Teens.
Student Directions: Create a cartoon based on your habit using http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/ (50 pts)
- It must show several characters discussing the importance of adopting your habit.
- It must have at contain at least 3 strips
They were more engaged creating these cartoons than they would have been had I said “summarize the unit for me.” Some of the cartoons were good and some of them needed work. I was amazed that when I told students that they missed the mark and that their cartoons did not meet the requirements, many of them corrected the assignment with no discussion or argument. That, to me, is the real sign of engagement. They completed the assignment twice and I could not have gotten that commitment from them with ordinary note-taking.
Creating cartoons is easy and engaging. Students can create comic strips for:
- Do Nows – use a vocabulary word in a cartoon dialogue
- Response to stories – select 2 characters from the story and continue a conversation or action
- Creating quick short stories – select characters from the comic database and create an 8 panel cartoon/short story
The MakeBeliefsComix site has resources to give you other ideas to use in your classroom (either for your students or with your students)