21 Things – Using Comics in the Classroom

I have always been fascinated by comics. I used to read the entire page everyday. I read certain comic books regularly, too. However, my reading of comics has been, at best, inconsistent. I still understand the power of comics, as I see it in my own children. They love to read them- comic strips and books. Consequently, I recognize the power of comics in helping students to learn and share their learning.

Many comic creation apps are available for the iPad. Make Beliefs Comix, a free app, allows for the creation of two-to-four panel comic strips, which can be saved to your camera roll. Many characters, scenes, and objects are available. Comics can be written in seven different languages. For ad free comics the app costs $1.99. This app would be great for use with elementary students.

Comic Maker HD, another free app, allows for the creation of one-to-eight panel comic strips, per page. I could not find a page limit. You can add your own pictures to the comics, take pictures in the app, and choose from their background and character galleries. This app appears to be geared toward older (13+) cartoon creators. It requires patience, focus, and attention to detail.

I created this comic using Make Beliefs Comix about students entering a new classroom where they are afraid of being accepted by the other students.

New Students Worried

Depending on the grade level, comics can be used in the classroom for a variety of different reasons. Here are a few ideas for using comics in class:

  1. Students can change the end of a story or fairy-tale.
  2. Students or teachers can provide an example of a value or quality.
  3. Students can create a scene in a foreign language. Evaluating this activity with the SAMR model, this activity would fall under modification as it allows for creation of a scene and characters. This modifies the assignment because the students are able to provide a visual representation of the scene and conversation that would have been limited by their own drawing ability.

As a coach I can use comics to:

  1. Display a classroom rule, such as, no interrupting the teacher
  2. Provide an example of a value or quality
  3. Recognize a student for great behavior

How would you use comics in the classroom? What could you have students do with comics? Share your ideas in the comments or email me–marc@marcdaly.com. I look forward to continuing the discovery of comics in the classroom.

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