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Storyboard That: Comic Strip Dialogs / Class Idiom Dictionary

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, printer (color preferably, optional)

Activity Description

Students use a comic strip site for dialog writing, in order to practice target grammar structures, vocabulary, or idioms. The site offers 325 characters, 225 scenes, and over 45,000 images, and the option to upload images. Comic strips can be viewed online or downloaded and printed. You are limited to a 14 day trial for free. After that there is money involved.


  1. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school.
  2. Optionally, watch the Getting Started with Storyboard That video introduction to the site
  3. Create an account for yourself and practice using the site to become familiar with it and to be able to anticipate students’ questions or difficulties.
  4. Create a lesson plan in which you will use the site to introduce a new topic or in which students will write a dialog (see More Ways - below - for ideas).
  5. Prepare your own storyboard as a model.


  1. Have students write dialogs individually, in pairs, or in small groups, based on course objectives. Collect students’ writing and provide feedback on content and mechanics (spelling, grammar, word choices, and punctuation).
  2. Have students go to the Storyboard That Web site and create an account (e-mail address needed). Have them verify the account by selecting the link they receive in an e-mail from the site. (Students will need access to their e-mail accounts at school).
  3. Select Create a Storyboard.
  4. Select from the many options for characters, scenes, textables (speech and thought bubbles), shapes, etc., and add them to each cell of the comic strip by dragging and dropping.
  5. Each character and item can be customized (colors and positions) by selecting it and making changes on the pop-up palette.
  6. Select a textable (speech or thought bubble) in order to type text into the text box.
  7. If a storyboard is not completed in one sitting, it can be saved and edited at another time. When students login, they will choose My Storyboards to edit / revise previously-created stories.
  8. After students have saved their storyboards, they will see the following options: presentation (print, slideshow, download images, and download PowerPoint), sharing, and privacy. You may present the comic strip as a slideshow within the Web browser or download the storyboard as an image pack or PowerPoint. With an image pack, each storyboard cell is exported into a high resolution image or use the included PDF for printing needs. If PowerPoint is chosen for export of the storyboard, download the zipped folder, and you can choose between two PowerPoints, one of which is animated.
  9. Have students present their dialogs.

Teacher Tips

  • A free trial account is good for 14 days. The limitations for free account are the following:
    • Only 2 comic strips per week
    • Only 3 or 6 cell configurations
    • Only 1 user per account, so students would have to set-up their own accounts
    • Not private, so anyone can view the storyboards
  • See lesson plans. To view examples of how the site is used by teachers for instructional purposes, see the samples for teaching punctuation and grammar:
  • Teaching Punctuation with Storyboard That
  • Teaching Advanced English Grammar with Storyboard That
  • For pricing information, you can select this link or use the link on the site's home page
  • To learn more about classroom portals. The Educational version of the site is only for teachers.

More Ways

  • Teachers can create comic strips 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 comic strips 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; have opportunities to participate in listening comprehension exercises.
  • Students can be assigned to respond to a reading or a class discussion 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
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information

Basic Communication

  • (4.6) Communicate effectively in the workplace
  • (4.8) Demonstrate effectiveness in working with other people
  • (4.7) Effectively manage workplace resources
  • (4.1) Understand basic principles of getting a job
  • (4.4) Understand concepts and materials related to job performance and training

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
  • (7.5) Understand aspects of and approaches to effective personal management
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.