TeachersFirst's Comics and Cartoons Resources
This editor's choice collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about and create comics in any subject area. Comics have become mainstream in "graphic novels" and can express or explain major concepts, portray the underlying tensions behind an issue, or simply help students remember terms and definitions. The storytelling potential of comics goes back to cave drawings and can be as simple as a stick figure or as elaborate as a photograph annotated with voice bubbles. Explore these resources for tools and ideas to "draw" comics into your classroom as a tool for learning.
Check out all of our resources tagged comics and cartoons.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomEngage students by using the templates to display the day's vocabulary word, the math puzzle of the week, or a concept your students are learning in social studies or science, for example. Have students create comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting, and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. For pre-reading students, create a comic of pictures and tell the story based on the pictures/scenes. It's a good idea to require students to create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book is likely to become a class favorite! Use comics to show the sequencing of events. For example, when studying characterization, they create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternative to a formal assessment. Have students share all of their comics on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades4 to 11
In the ClassroomCreating comics can have many practical and engaging uses in the classroom. Students can retell stories to demonstrate comprehension or show their knowledge of scientific processes in a way that allows them to be creative. Comics can also be used to enhance social and emotional learning skills by having students create scenarios they might encounter in daily life. Teachers may also wish to create comics to provide a fun way to relay information, or as an engaging set to a lesson.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this assessment as part of any American History lessons focused on the changing role of women and lessons about life in the early 1900s. Use the ideas found in this quick assessment with other political cartoons of the time. Running for Office - Cartoons Of Clifford K. Berryman, reviewed here, is a resource for finding additional cartoons from the early 20th century. After students spend time assessing the features that make up political cartoons, enhance learning and ask them to create their own cartoon using Comic Strip Templates from Canva, reviewed here. Extend learning by sharing student-created cartoons using Odyssey, reviewed here. Use Odyssey to share and compare the political feel of the time period through stories told across the country.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse cartoons to engage student learners and as a resource for providing deeper context to complicated issues such as Reconstruction. Upload images of each cartoon onto an interactive whiteboard tool such as Whiteboard Chat, reviewed here, that provides many tools for sharing and creating digital annotations. Upload each cartoon and add student comments and use drawing tools to draw attention to specific portions of cartoons. As a culminating project, ask students to create political cartoons representing different views of Reconstruction. Use Canva's Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, as a starting point for templates and ideas or have students create cartoons from a blank slide.
Grades1 to 12
Looking for an easy...more
Looking for an easy way to infuse visual literacy in your instruction? Try using comics in the classroom! Visual literacy is quickly becoming a must-have skill, and infusing comics in your instruction can help students easily learn and practice it. In this workshop, you will learn to help students create comics that demonstrate both their visual literacy skills and comprehension of the content they are learning. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn to use comics to teach visual literacy strategies; 2. Explore tools to create comics; and 3. Discuss assessment strategies for using comics in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.
In the ClassroomThe archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomEngage students by using the templates to display the day's vocabulary word, the math puzzle of the week, a concept your students are learning in social studies or science as an example. Have students create comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting, and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. For pre-reading students, create a comic of pictures and tell the story based on the pictures/scenes. It's a good idea to require students to create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book is likely to become a class favorite! Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to a traditional assessment. Have students share all of their comics on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free comic books and lessons when teaching economic and financial lessons as a supplement to your current teaching materials. Instead of printing each comic for individual students, provide a link to students using Padlet, reviewed here. Create a Padlet to share all of your online resources for your unit in one place. Use these comic books as inspiration and modify student learning by asking them to use a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to create single frame cartoons explaining financial concepts. Find more uses for using comics in the classroom by viewing the archive of our OK2Ask session Engage & Inspire: Comics in the Classroom reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this collection in art classes during the study of comic book art. Share comics with students in history classes along with newspaper comics to demonstrate the use of comics to depict historic events or share political beliefs and satire. In literature classes, include this site along with others to share comics depicting characters in novels. Have students create their own comics or cartoons to summarize story events or depict characters and events from history using a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to create single frame cartoons. Find more uses for using comics in the classroom by viewing the archive of our OK2Ask session Engage & Inspire: Comics in the Classroom, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThere is a multitude of ways to use comics/cartoons in the classroom. For instance, create one-page discussion starters to help students keep up with current political issues. Use comics to show sequencing of events, for example, explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or current event! When studying about characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use comic strips for literature responses. Another idea - why not use the comics for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and feelings. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialogue strips as an alternative to traditional written assessments; summarize through a comic. Challenge students who move through other assignments more quickly to create a cartoon for review of a topic studied in class. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year using Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator includes features for students to easily create digital books using their own text, videos, and images.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate dialogues that introduce new content topics in your classroom. Students can use this "witty" tool to introduce topics from research or to practice a speech to be given in class. Use comics to create a dialogue discussing misconceptions in the content and a discussion of the actual facts to dispel the misunderstandings. To view more comic creator tools and ideas view this collection. Some suggested comic creators are Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, ToonyTool, reviewed here, Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
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In the ClassroomAdd humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.
Grades2 to 7
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as an excellent resource for science experiments. Engage students and extend their knowledge with the activities from the site for science fair projects. If you are lucky enough to have a parent helper in your classroom, allow them to come in and complete experiments with your students each month using ideas found on the site. Challenge students to complete experiments at home and share results with the class. Have students create videos using FlexClip, reviewed here, and share the experiment and results using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThese one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to Weekly News Videos with prompts for discussion, and other information about political cartooning through history; most of these latter links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In an art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
GradesK to 12
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tag(s): comics and cartoons (50)
In the ClassroomHave small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of what the class just learned. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon depicting the characters and plot. Have students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant, the planets, or a butterfly's life cycle. Use these templates for students to plan out storyboards for more involved projects, such as videos. Alternatively, have students use one of the templates for a rough draft before creating and online comic. In emotional support or autistic support classes, create comics to show how people interact. In world languages or with ENL/ESL students, create comics to reinforce correct language. Looking for even more comic resources? Check out TeachersFirst's complete collection of Comics and Cartoons.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomCreate and share picture books using the Picture Book Maker Tool and the Super Action Comic Maker. Once students have created books, print to use at reading centers or create links on classroom computers for reading online. With younger students, have them create pages and then add their weekly spelling words scattered on the pages. This will give them practice both writing (typing) and reading their spelling words! Create short stories about a story's main character, setting, conflict, etc. instead of book reports. Images are limited, but text of any kind can be added.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThe possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create Phase.it pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase.it images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Consider making them into a collage and posting it on your webpage. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use caption bubbles for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more. Share the results (with an image credit) on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomEnhance learning and demonstrate how to create a storyboard using Storyboard That on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As you and your students create a class story, show them the different selections of characters, settings, dialogue boxes and more. Show them how easy it is to edit anything in the frame. Have your students use "Storyboard That" for anything from brainstorming for a video story they want to create to a final copy of a story, report, comic, or poem. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, etc. Challenge students to create a storyboard of a book or short story recently finished in class as a review of characters and story plot and extending their learning. World language students can create storyboards and label the images, or tell the story in the language they are learning. "Storyboard That" has a growing collection of lesson plans and you can also contribute yours. Math teachers can use the interesting storyboard characters to explain word problems and capture reluctant student's interest. Have your students complete biographies for famous people. Tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using this easy program that produces entertaining results. Autistic or emotional support teachers can have students storyboard interpersonal behavior skills.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
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Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
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As of January 2013 teachers can now create a private classroom where their students data is secure and the teacher has more control. -Aaron (Founder/CEO of Storyboard That) *Editor's Note: this feature is available as part of the Classroom Portal Section which is a paid add on. This review highlights only the free portions of the site.Aaron, , Grades: 0 - 12