Note: I wrote this blog entry awhile back and didn’t want to lose it. You’ll want to read the update at the end to take advantage of a special offer.
Earlier this week, a 2nd grade teacher came by and asked, “I want to teach kids dialogue in their writing using comics. Is there a free program that helps me do that?” The answer is a definite YES. There are several programs online that you can use. Although we quickly stumbled upon BitStrips.com as a simple tool–which is what I used to make the comic above–I knew there were other tools available, as well…through Thinkfinity.org. Before we talk about the tools, let’s discuss HOW comics are helpful; here is a short list of web sites for teaching with or through comics in grades 3-12:
  1. Creating Comics and Cartoons! (Grades 3-5)

  2. Buzz! Whiz! Bang! Using Comic Books to Teach Onomatopoeia (Grades 3-5)

  3. Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study(Grades 3-5)

  4. Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure (Grades 3-5)

  5. Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares(Grades 6-8)

  6. Comic Book Show and Tell (Grades 9-12)

Here are some popular tools available via Thinkfinity.org that you can use:
  • Comic Creator

  • Comic Creator Tool Tip Sheet

  • King Tut Cartoon Fun: This Nationalgeogrphic.com Kids resource, part of the National Geographic feature titled “Egypt: Secrets of an Ancient World,” is an interactive cartoon into which users can type dialogue. The cartoon features a man and a boy looking at King Tut’s tomb. Users can type in what they think the man and boy are saying and print out their custom-made cartoon. There are also links to an archive of other cartoons.

Update 04/2010: National Writing Project members can access BitStripsforSchools.com and get access to a free trial that grants complete access until August 31, 2010. Definitely worth checking out, even if you’re NOT an NWP member!


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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