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21 WAYS TO USE MAKEBELIEFSCOMIX.COM IN THE CLASSROOM

21 WAYS TO USE MAKEBELIEFSCOMIX.COM IN THE CLASSROOM

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Published by Kathleen Morris

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Kathleen Morris on Sep 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2012

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From MakeBeliefsComix.com, the free online educational comic strip generator
2imaginations. Look upon the site as a resource for literacy development and to reach outto engage reluctant writers and readers.
4. Practice Conversation Skills
Having students fill in talk or thought balloons for different cartoon characters
 helps students practice conversation and offers a way to practice language structure andvocabulary in a meaningful context.
5. Social Skills Training
Create comic scenarios, scripts, or stories for children with autism
as a way to teachthem different kinds of social behavior and to read emotions by observing the faces of thedifferent characters selected for the cartoons. Says one teacher who works with high-functioning students with autism, "I used the comic strips to create social stories focusingon behaviors we want to modify." Creating cartoons in which the characters speak for thecreator also provides a way to help autistic and deaf students to communicate. For moreinformation on how to use MakeBeliefsComix for children with autism as well as withthose with other disabilities, see ourSpecial Needs sectionathttp://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Special-Needs/ .
6. Foreign Language Practice
Have students who are learning new foreign languages write their text in languagesthey are studying.
In addition to English, the site accepts characters and accent marksfrom languages such as Spanish, Latin, German, Italian and Portuguese. Additionallanguages will be added to the site in the future.
7. Print or Email: Validate Student Efforts
Have students print or email their completed comics.
Doing so validates the effortsthey put into creating the strips and gives them a sense of ownership. The printedcartoons represent their hard-earned efforts and they can add the completed work to theirschool portfolios or share with friends and family. Think of the student sharing hercartoon with someone important to her and the smile this brings to the face of therecipient. Wouldn't such an experience reinforce learning?
8. Introduction to Creative Writing
Use the cartoon strips to
introduce students to the world of creative writing
and thepleasure of using their imaginations more fully. When students create a comic strip, they
 
From MakeBeliefsComix.com, the free online educational comic strip generator
3are also honing their reading and writing skills in addition to tapping into their creativity.The act of creating cartoons allows students to learn in a pleasurable way.
9. Create Daily Comix Diaries
Consider having students create daily comix diaries. These provide a way for students todigest and integrate what they are taught each day as well as to reflect on their lives andexperiences. Encourage students to
use the comic characters as surrogates for them totalk about and examine their lives, their problems, their challenges and theiranxieties.
In effect, students can see themselves in the comics they create. The comicstrips also allow the students to express their feelings and thoughts about the learning thatoccurs in the classroom. The goal here can be to encourage students to compile over theschool year a portfolio highlighting their educational and personal development. Formore guidance on creating daily comix diaries, go to:www.makebeliefscomix.com/Daily-Comix-Diary. 
10. Create Serialized Comic Strips
Create comic books
based on the strips that the students complete. Let the studentsserialize their comics by creating a new strip each day as part of a continuing story. Theycan color them, too.
11. Life Skills Practice
Create comic strips in which students can practice such real-life, practical scenarios suchas looking for a job, or learning how to deal with a school bully, or interacting with adifficult boss or fellow worker or classmate. As an example, create a comic in which astudent applies for a job. What kinds of questions is the interviewer likely to ask her andwhat kinds of responses might be appropriate. An individual going to visit a doctor oremergency room can practice vocabulary that will be needed for such an encounter -- thiscan be particularly helpful to those students who are learning English as a secondlanguage.
12. Local or National News Immersion
Have students
use the characters to create comic strips that comment on local ornational politics.
Perhaps these cartoons can be published in the school newspaper ornewsletter.

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