MakeBeliefsComix: Comic Strips
Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required
Website Example: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/?comix_id=159577208
Computer(s), Internet access, projector
In this activity, students will brainstorm solutions to a proposed problem, write a dialog, and then use MakeBeliefsComix to create a comic strip using the dialog. When complete, students can print, e-mail, or post the comics on a Web site. Students can also present their comic strips in class.
- Decide on a problem/situation that you would like students to write about.
- Make sure the Web site is not blocked at your school site on student computers.
- Practice using the site yourself before demonstrating to students.
- Here are some video tutorials from YouTube if you need them: Video 1 (3:31 min), Video 2 (10 min).
- Pose a problem to the class on a relevant topic. Have students brainstorm solutions and choose the best solution.
- Then students, individually or in pairs, write a dialog of two - eight lines in which two or more characters talk about the problem and offer the solution, using modals of advice (should, ought to, had better).
- Give students feedback on their written dialogs before having them use the site.
- Students then use the site to create a comic strip with the dialog. Start by going to Make Beliefs Comix.
- Select Enter Here.
- Type in a title and the author.
- Select the number of panels (2, 3, or 4) by selecting the correct number.
- Choose characters by selecting them.
- Choose emotions by selecting the red arrows under the characters.
- Select Move to move characters within a panel; Scale to change a character's sizes; Move to Front for overlapping; and Flip to change the direction characters face.
- To add speech or thought bubbles, select Talk balloons or Thought balloons. Select the red arrows under the balloons to choose a different size. Then select the desired balloon to put in a chosen panel. Click inside the balloon to add text.
- To add objects, select Objects and then select the red arrows to see the options.
- Select a panel and then choose a background color to add color.
- Choose Panel Prompts to see panel titles. Select the red arrows to see all options. To add a panel prompt, select it.
- When finished, select Print/E-mail and/or have students present their comic to the class.
- The site offers 80 different characters, blank talk and thought balloons to be filled in with text, story prompts and printables, and accepts text in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Latin. Comics created can be printed and emailed. This online comic strip site also enables users to post their comic strips on their own Facebook walls.
- No registration required
- See a video about how the students at City College in New York are using the site to help them learn English.
- Teachers can create cartoons to use to introduce a topic for a class reading, to spark a discussion, or to pose a question to the class or a problem to solve.
- Students can create cartoons from any dialogs they write, with purposes ranging from practicing a grammar structure or vocabulary word, to dramatizing a role play for a given scenario.
- Teachers can make cartoons to introduce or reinforce vocabulary, and students can be assigned to write scripts that demonstrate their comprehension of given vocabulary words or learned idioms.
- Both students and teachers can show do's and don'ts for a given scenario or problem; teach and learn about or have a debate; and/or have opportunities to participate in listening comprehension exercises.
- Students can be assigned to respond to a reading or a class discussion topic, as in this example: "We read in class about changing gender roles of men and women in modern society. Respond by writing a story/script for a mini movie or writing a dialog to give your opinion or experience with this topic."
- Students can make news reports or give opinions on current events or political issues; make commercials or a movie review; tell jokes or stories; or write the dialog for a short story or the ending of an open-ended story.
- Intermediate Low
- Intermediate High