Why Should Students Create Comics?
- Students have to think critically about audience, tone, and purpose to communicate content.
- Many students have read and enjoyed graphic novels in the past like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Manga, March, and many other titles. Creating digital stories for them can be engaging and tap into valuable prior knowledge.
- Digital stories can be told in almost any discipline for almost any content.
- Digital stories can meet many of the narrative standards for ELA and literacy across the curriculum.
Which Tools Should We Use?
- Pixton: This is the tool my students used to create the comics below. Unfortunately, it is not free. It's about $40 for 200 students if you can get the project done in one month. The nice thing is that the teacher prep is very low and there are many pre-created lessons and tutorials in addition to easy ways to create an assignment from scratch.
- StoryBoardThat: Also, awesome. Yay. Also, not free. Boo.
- Google Drawing: Totally free, but a little more upfront work for the teacher and student. Check out this blog post from Matt Miller and Cori Orlando for all the best info on how to get started!
What do Student Samples Look Like?
Here are 4 student samples from my 9th grade English class. After finishing the graphic novel March by John Lewis, (about the civil rights march in Selma and lunch counter sit-ins), students created comics that retold other events of their choice in the civil rights histories of African-Americans, Latinx-Americans, Muslim Americans, The LGTBQ+ community, and more.