Teaching with Comics

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


Tim Holt said…
Miguel, Some of the links are broken here, and the blog link of lists requires a login and password...

My fav-o-rite toon creator online is www.toondoo.com


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