Here are some of the reasons why you might want to include comic strips in your classroom instruction (see the list of sources at the bottom of this post to learn more):
- Comic strips are fun, interesting and motivating.
- They promote a wide variety of skills: cognitive, intellectual, social, and cultural.
- They can be used with students in different school grades.
- They can be used to teach different school subjects.
- They can help students develop higher-order thinking skills (sequencing, predicting, inferring, synthesizing, analyzing, evaluating…etc).
- They enhance students engagement with multimodal texts.
- They make students aware of the multimodal means through which meanings are constructed and communicated.
- They can be used in language teaching
- They can be used to teach reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
- Visually illustrated content is much easier to process, understand and remember.
- Digital storytelling: students (in small groups or individually) create a narrative storyline and illustrate it with relevant graphics.
- Students use comic strips to visually retell a story they have read.
- You can use comic strips to introduce a topic and have students brainstorm ideas
- Provide students with pre-designed comic strips with missing panels and ask them to fill in the blanks to complete the story. (Writing activity)
- Provide students with blanked out comic strips and ask them to write a story based on the illustrated characters. (Writing activity, promote predicting skills)
- Use comic strips to raise students awareness to topics such as racism, bullying, digital citizenship…etc.
- Use comic strips in language learning to teach vocabulary, grammar, communication (use of language in contextual situations), writing, and reading.
- Use comics to improve students speaking skills by asking them to act out comics they created. Alternatively, you can engage students in oral discussions about the content of the comics.
The following are some of the best comic maker tools out there. They are simple and easy to use. These tools also provide a wide variety of pre-designed materials such as templates, characters, backgrounds, images, objects, speech bubbles, panels, grids, frames…etc. Students simply drag and drop then edit and preview before sharing their final product with the whole class.
StoryboardThat Allows students to create beautiful storyboards. It provides a wide variety of editing and sharing features. Students can choose from scenes, characters, shapes, textables, and even upload their own images to use in their storyboards.
Snyder, E. (1997). Teaching the sociology of sport: Using a comic strip in the classroom. Teaching Sociology, 25(3), 239-243.
Comic Strips Creation Tools (Google Sites)
26 Ways to Use Comics in the Classroom and 5 Free Tools for Creating Comics (Free Technology for Teachers)
Comics in The Classroom: Why Comics? (TEACH)
Using Comics in the English Language Classroom (James Whiting, Plymouth State University)
Using Cartoons and Comic Strips (British Council)
Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to N