Thursday, February 11, 2016

Common Core Integrated Writing with Digital Comics for K-12

Texting in the classroom is no fun, but with a piling list of to-dos and standards to teach, that technological hardware you have in your room can be your biggest asset. Not only do tablets, Chrome Books, and smart phones bring total and utter engagement in the classroom, but they also provide an endless supply of knowledge at the tips of your students’ fingertips.  Have I convinced you to use your tech yet? 


Today I want to share an online tool called Make Beliefs Comix.  This easy to use comic creator has build in characters, settings, colors, and bubbles to use.  Thankfully, their options are not so vast that the students are spending an excessive amount of time choosing graphics.  

Teachers have used this tool, myself included, as formative assessment within content subjects.  Especially with the new ELD framework, English Language Learners need more and more exposure to literacy in content subject areas.  This would be a simple way to implement literacy.  



I highly suggest you create your own comic, so that you get a feel of what questions the students might have while they are creating.  To get started, you would need to open an internet browser on your laptop, desktop, or Chromebook. You would also be able to use this on the iPad using the internet browser. 

If students creating a comic as a project within their unit, it would be convenient if they named their comic with that unit name. Make sure you remind your students to type in their name.  If your students are tech savvy and have a little bit more time then you can ask your students to create a 4 panel comic. If not, then the default is a 3 panel comic, which can be the perfect place to begin. 


Preferably, students will have completed a draft of their comic before they get on the computer. When they get on to the site, they have choices for characters, background colors, background setting, thought bubbles, and dialogue bubbles.

When the students feel like they are ready to finalize their comic, have them click the "next" button to the right. 


This will be the finalizing page for the comic. The students will have the chance to review, print, or email. If the students are working with a rubric, then this would be the perfect time for them to check their rubric if they have completed their tasks. 




The final product looks just like a real comic. Hopefully your students enjoy creating online and that it potentially leads them to acquiring digital literacy and content knowledge. Until next time!

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