Comic Lesson

01 Dec

Here’s a quick description of my current 5th Grade project.

First class
After reviewing watching a video from Discovery Education that featured a traditional Indian folk tale, the class discussed the common elements to fables. We talked about how many stories, not just fables, have a problem that needs solving. In solving this problem a lesson is often taught.

After the video and discussion I quickly introduced the students to ToonDoo is a great tool for creating comics that allows users a very wide range of options including creating custom characters. It has a very user-friendly interface that my students immediately grasped.

Side note: I always try to limit my introduction of new tools to 5 minutes or less. My feeling is that as soon as students see a new web site or program on the board they’re just waiting to be set loose. I try to explain just enough to let get them started and then allow time to explore. I think that learning something through their own investigation is probably more permanent.

The class was given the rest of the period to explore ToonDoo. At the end of the period I took a few minutes to explain to the students that the following class they would be creating comics, in pairs, that had a problem and a solution being shown.


Second Class

I quickly paired the students off and gave each a simple worksheet to start planning their comics. The worksheet requires the pairs to come up with a title, characters, a problem, and how the problem is solved. Bonus points are given for a lesson or moral to the story.

Pairs will take screen shots (CMD+Shift+4 for the Mac) and put their comics into a word processing file for easy printing.

Voila! Student collaboration, elements of literature, Web 2.0 tools? Check!


Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Lessons


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5 responses to “Comic Lesson

  1. Jason T. Bedell

    December 2, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I did something similar with sophomores. They loved it. ToonDoo really gave them a chance to express themselves creatively while reinforcing the structure of a story. The only issue I had was severe lag on ToonDoo’s servers, but that was over a year ago, so hopefully they have improved.

  2. ktenkely

    December 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Fantastic lesson!
    In my first year of teaching in the computer lab I often found myself trying to teach students absolutely everything about a website/tool before letting them loose. I was constantly having to stop and redirect attention back to my teaching. About half way through the year I realized that if I gave them just a few basics, they would work the rest out on their own and share with each other. I fully believe in the 5 min and go rule!

  3. Vicky

    January 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Do you have ToonDooSpaces or do you just use the public side?

    • Matt Arguello

      January 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      I use the public side with a single account.


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