cartoon makerDo you have students intimidated by the thought of writing a whole story.  Creating a comic can be a great way to encourage the reluctant writers in your classroom.  Comics can also be used by students to apply their knowledge of reading concepts to a project they can share with others.

1.  Turn them loose!  Encourage students to write a comic about anything their hearts desire!

2. Challenge your students to summarize a story they have read in a comic. Use the three panel form as a “beginning, middle, end” summary format.

3. Use a comic to retell a story in the proper sequence using three or four panels. Or, have students create their own “how-to” sequence of a process or procedure.

4. Use four panels in a non-linear way by assigning a story element to describe in each square: Characters, Setting, Problem, and Solution.

5. Use two (or three) panels to have your students create a predicting activity. Ask your students to illustrate an unresolved situation in the first square and a resolution to that situation in the second square. For example, have one character thinking that they would like to go to the movies and the other character thinking that they would also like to go to the movies. The resolution could be that they go together. (Or if you want students to realize that even if what you predict is logical, it may not happen, you could show them not going to the movies together.) When sharing comics, a student could cover up the second square and encourage others to predict before revealing his/her resolution.

5. Use two panels to illustrate a cause and an effect. Use three or four panels to show a chain of cause and effect events.

Here are some of the best online comic creators:

The applications for online comics are endless! How would you use these sites in your classroom?