Do you remember when having Comic Books in School was a bad thing?
I remember the days where teachers would freak out if they ever caught us with comic books. They would make a big spectacle of how we broke the rules, call our parents, give us detention, and worse of all, take my comic books and not give them back to me. These were the times in my life that I refer to as the Dark Ages. I never in a million years thought that I would end up being a teacher/educator.
Can Comic Book Presentations be relevant?
I have written several posts before on the importance of making presentation meaningful and interesting. Not just creating a PowerPoint because it’s the easiest tool for you to create a visual representation of your content. Comic books are what I consider to be attention grabbers. After bringing out several samples, you now have the student’s attention. It’s what you do with that attention that really matters. For this post I thought I would share some great web 2.0 tools that allow you and your students to make comic books. I urge you to make these assignments interesting, and relevant. Make sure that they are strongly tied to important curriculum standards and benchmarks. Just because the form of presentation and activity creation is “fun” does not mean that the substance in the curriculum is not important.
How can my students show or demonstrate knowledge gained?
Post your students work up on the projector, or interactive white board. Maybe print them out and make them into posters and hang them up in the room. When the students are done, ask them to share with the class. There is no doubt in my mind that a student explaining the process of photosynthesis through a comic book that they created shows just as much gained knowledge if not more than a student who just read about the process through a textbook or PowerPoint presentation.
Bitstrips (above) is a quick and easy way to start creating comics. They have their own Bitstrips for Schools section that was meant to be used specifically for education. With Bitstrips you can have private virtual classrooms, a news dashboard showing you the latest student activitiy and student permission settings that ensure you the teacher are in control.
Make Beliefs Comix: MakeBeliefsComix.com (above) is an educational comic strip creator from author Bill Zimmerman. Create, print, email and post to Facebook your original comic strips.
PIXTON: (above) Create your own cartoons with fully poseable characters & animals! Upload pictures, create freestyle panel layouts, add sound & voice-over, and much more!
Pixton also has a pixton for schools section that teachers can take full advantage of.
Another option that you may have is to not necessarily create comics but find some. Glasbergen.com (above) has great cartoons that you may find useful to use in your teachings for your classroom. Cartoons help students understand new ideas and concepts much quicker than a traditional teaching environment. Remember to always reference the author and site of where you found the cartoon.
Other Sites you may find useful for Comics: