Comic Relief in the Classroom
Vuvox.com presentation by above title- by lisbrock (Nancy Brockman)
Ideas of ways to use comics across the curriculum:
Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers
Suggestions from this web site created by Kelsey Allen include the following
Lesson Plans for Elementary
Elementary teachers will enjoy these great lesson plans designed
specifically for early learners.
• Creative Writing Using Comics. Teach creative writing to 4th
through 8th graders with this lesson that also expands to include
vocabulary and a group activity.
• Buzz! Whiz! Bang! Using Comic Books to Teach Onomatopoeia.
Great for grades 3-5, this four-part lesson lets students create
their own comic strip while exploring onomatopoeia.
• Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative
Structure. Sequencing, story-telling, and plotting are all part of
this lesson appropriate for 3rd-5th graders.
• Make Family Comic Strips. Appropriate for grades 2-5, this
lesson guides students through creating a comic strip depicting a
funny event from their family.
• To, Too, or Two: Developing an Understanding of Homophones.
After studying homophones, students will create a skit acting out
the homophones, then convert their skit to a comic strip.
Lesson Plans for Middle School
Middle school teachers will find plenty of great ideas for teaching with
comics among these lesson plans.
• Greek and Latin Roots Lesson Plan: Superhero Comic Strip. Let
students show their knowledge of Greek and Latin root words by
creating a superhero comic strip in this lesson plan.
• Comic Book Project – Grades 5-8. This writing lesson
emphasizes such concepts as creating conflict and resolution,
sequential writing, action verbs, descriptive language, and
• Cartoon Project. 7th through 12th graders can reinforce math
concepts of ratio and proportion in this lesson.
• Change Happens. Study the development and change of tools and
systems through creating comic strips.
• Make a Statement. Students take a position on the politics
during the American Revolutionary War and convey their stance
through several different mediums, including comics.
Lesson Plans for High School
These lesson plans supply creative, engaging, and educational ways to
• The Comic Book Show and Tell. Students will draft a comic book
script based on a prompt, create a layout, revise their drafts, and
share revisions with others.
• Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and
Gender in the Media. Students will learn to recognize
stereotypes as presented by the media in this two-week lesson
that culminates in a "comic character makeover."
• Treasure Island Teachers’ Guide. The third in the series, be
sure to use this lesson plan when studying Treasure Island in
• American Born Chinese Lesson Plans. This guide offers
suggestions for teaching culture and history using graphic novels.
• Examining Transcendentalism Through Popular Culture. Students
learn about Emerson, Thoreau, and aspects of transcendentalism
through popular culture–including comics.
Lesson Plans for All Ages
These lesson plans are adaptable for a wide range of student.
• Comic Strip Lesson Plan. This lesson plan is actually for an ESL
class, but can easily be used in any class and is adjustable to the
age and/or reading level of the students.
• Character and Plot Development Through Comics. Character,
plot development, point of view, and tone are learned through this
lesson plan that is specifically aligned to the Florida testing
• Comic Strip. This lesson can be adjusted for any age and
reinforces listening skills and comprehension.
• Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked!. This study guide from the
History Channel offers suggestions for teaching this lesson to
middle and high school students and also includes a link to the
• Autobiographical Comics. This project steps teachers through
guiding middle and high school students through creating comics
to detail autobiographical stories.
Check out their website for even more ideas and several comic making
resource sites as well:
Tech Ed- Technology in Education:
How to Use Comic Life in the Classroom
This site has an article written by Charles Thacker about
using comics in the classroom- He suggests:
Use comics to help break down complex ideas and to create entertaining
content for material that can sometimes be dull. Here are some assignment
ideas that lend themselves to the use of comics:
• Timelines (history, events, sequences)
• Historical figures (history of, life of)
• Instructions (step by step, details, illustrations, easy to follow)
• Dialogue punctuation
• Character analysis
• Plot analysis
• Pre-Writing Tool
• Post-Reading Tool
• Teaching Onomatopoeias
• …and on and on
One teacher’s comment on using student made comics with poetry:
I have used comic life with tenth graders when working on interpreting
difficult poetry--it would work at any level.
What I do is put each line of the poem in a different frame (leaving blank
space for students to draw).
Then, they need to draw a depiction of each line in the comic box. It helps
them chart what the poet/poem is trying to say, and it\'s a fun activity.
Plus, it\'s way easier when I ask “What do you think this line is about?”,
because they all want to share what they drew.
Jeff Sharp has created a teaching with comics resource page.
This site details the drawing of comics and has a rubric as well as some
good suggestions for lessons. Ideas could be adapted to computer-
generated comics. The templates would be wonderful pre-production
storyboards for brainstorming prior to going to the computers!
Additional ideas and suggestions available at these sites:
http://www.comicsintheclassroom.net/oolessonplans.htm -Lesson Plans with a
http://www.congresslink.org/cartoons/value.htm -Political cartoon lessons
Comic Ideas Lesson plans using Comic Creator
This page is by the author of the attached
rubric and also has a link to his Factoring Comic: Factoring with Mr. Yang
and Mosley - An online comics-based unit teaching factoring, a difficult
concept covered in Algebra 2.
Comic making resource sites:
Rather than promoting one particular package and for information about the
various options available, I invite you to explore these websites and wikis to
This wiki lists several comic/sketch tools- see tools 23-30 in the Table of
Contents on the right hand side of the page. Samples from Pixton, Bitstrip,
and Toondoo are used in the Vuvox Collage.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WtZsXxt1No Bitstrips for Schools
http://mytechmatrix.org -Technology Integration Matrix
COMICS-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL UNIT – RUBRIC
Authored by Gene Yang (http://www.geneyang.com)
For an editable doc. file of this rubric go to: http://www.geneyang.com/comicsedu/web.html
Listed in the web resources along with some additional resource links!
Category 4 3 2 1
Panel Sizes & Consistent use of Some examples of One or two Panel sizes and
Shots panel size and/or using panel size examples of using the framing of
shots to and/or shots to panel size and/or shots confuse,
emphasize the emphasize the shots to rather than add
information information emphasize the to, the story.
and/or emotional and/or emotional information
content of the content of the and/or emotional
work. work. content of the
Transitions & Most panel-to- Some panel-to- One or two Most panel-to-
Layout panel transitions panel transitions examples of well- panel transitions
are well-planned are well-planned planned panel-to- are random and
and appropriate to and appropriate to panel transitions. haphazard. Panel
the information the information Panel order and order and word
and/or emotions and/or emotions word balloon balloon order
conveyed. Panel conveyed. Panel order within within panels are
order and word order and word panels are consistently
balloon order balloon order sometimes confusing.
within panels are within panels are confusing.
always clear. usually clear.
Artwork The artwork is The artwork is The artwork is The artwork is
consistently usually readable sometimes illegible. Many of
readable and and illegible. Two of the characters
understandable. understandable. the characters look the same.
Characters are Characters are look the same. The art style
always usually The art style contradicts the
distinguishable distinguishable neither adds to tone of the story.
from one another. from one another. nor takes away
The art style The art style from the tone of
closely matches loosely matches the story.
the tone of the the tone of the
Writing No misspelled Only one or two A few misspelled Many misspelled
words or misspelled words words or words and/or
grammatical or grammatical grammatical grammatical
errors. errors. errors. errors.
Lettering Lettering is neat Lettering is Lettering is Letter is illegible.
and legible. Ample adequate. Ample somewhat messy. Lettering is
space is always space is usually Some examples of consistently
given to the given to the lettering crammed crammed into
lettering in word lettering in word into word balloons word balloons and
balloons and balloons and and captions. captions.