Strategy

Comic Strip Writing

UDL 3.2

Comic Strip Writing is a strategy where teachers use Comic Strips to encourage student understanding of reading and writing. This strategy can be used as a pre/post reading activity to reinforce story structure, or as a pre-writing strategy. Students can fill-in blank Comic Strips (e.g., students choose backgrounds, characters, props, and compose dialogue), alter existing Comic Strips (e.g., change the dialogue), or can fill in a part of a Comic Strip (e.g., beginning and ending, just the middle). Comic Strip Writing motivates students by taking a break from traditional reading and writing responses and can be a useful strategy for all ages. It also provides teachers with the option of introducing or re-teaching content in a way that allows for student choice and creativity.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Templates

8-Box Story Boards

A set of 8-box story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards with and without lines for written responses. Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Templates

Beginning, Middle, End Story Boards

A set of story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards that are labeled “beginning,” “middle,” and “end” to assist students in organizing story events.Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Templates

3-Box Story Board Templates

A set of 3-box story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards with and without lines for written responses. Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Implementation Tips

Graphic Organizers
Use a graphic organizer like this printable [[ http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson195/comic-strip-planning.pdf | Comic Strip Planning Sheet ]] to help students prepare and plan ideas. After, let students choose from a variety of pre-printed [[ http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner456/comic-strip-writing-templates/ | blank Comic Strip Writing templates ]] to record their responses when composing a Comic Strip.
Multi-Media Comics
Create comic strips using online applications. Students can easily drag and drop images and add text to comic strip panels and share them via email, post them onto virtual discussion boards, or print them. Check out [[https://www.pixton.com/create|Pixton]] and [[http://www.storyboardthat.com/|Storyboard That]] for two free and easy to use tools!
Pre-Planning
Decide how students will implement Comic Strip Writing (e.g., individually, in partnerships, or in small groups) and prepare multiple template options to support student choice and creativity, such as this [[ http://www.printablee.com/postpic/2013/03/printable-blank-comic-strip-template_40172.jpg | 3-Box ]], [[ http://www.timvandevall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Comic-Strip-Template-04.jpg | 4-Box ]], or [[ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/5c/33/66/5c3366c739928060cc397ab083e847ce.gif | 6-Box ]] template.
Pre-Teaching
Pre-teach or review key story elements (e.g., the Five Ws and one H: who, what, when, where, why, how) before implementing Comic Strips so that students have a framework for understanding story structure. For deeper-level thinking, pre-teach [[ https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/EhKCh3OTLd7ZKJ1e26AReabjBPyDBdAYArcEJwrRv8-p6ix3WwM3PgcP3q1s0B4ev8SDjCG7lz28ESMKUqXUZN9kwVskJvQOw5ByQ4yUATFnILudsw0dnUsU | common book themes ]] for students to apply.
Model
Model the process so students see how a Comic Strip applies story structure from start to finish. Describe your thought process, reflecting on how to choose a theme and build a storyline with dialogue to match (e.g., “Since I want my story to reflect compassion, I’ll need to create a situation where my characters show caring qualities.”).
Modifications
Challenge students by providing opportunities to create, analyze and modify Comic Strips. Students can be asked to analyze the theme represented in a completed Comic Strip based on the images and dialogue, or students can add dialogue into a pre-created strip, similar to this [[ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/51/d6/57/51d657284ea1ed6f9c38f9491f51abb7.jpg | example ]].
Group Share
Increase engagement by having students share their Comic Strip creations or modifications in small groups or with a partner. Before conducting the share, review the importance of providing supportive feedback when working with peers (e.g., offering a “glow” and “grow”).
Building A Routine
Build a routine by providing additional opportunities for students to access Comic Strip Writing (e.g., encouraging students to create/analyze Comic Strips as part of a Literacy Center, or as an optional enrichment activity). Leave a bin filled with blank templates for students to independently select from.

Examples

Collaborative Comic Strip Creation
A teacher asks students in small groups to create Comic Strips to represent themes in books (e.g., compassion, loyalty, acceptance). Each group is assigned a theme and students work together to construct a scene with dialogue to represent their given theme on the Comic Strip. Students collaboratively decide using the “Five W’s and One H” and design a short storyline. After completion, the class regroups for a share. As one group presents, the other groups guess what book theme is being represented. Each group also has the opportunity to share their decision-making processes while creating their strips.
Supporting Behavior/SEL Students
A teacher introduces Comic Strip Writing to a student who is demonstrating difficulty expressing their feelings. The teacher prompts the student to draw out a scenario that reflects how they feel or a direct conflict they are facing (e.g., “What are you feeling right now?”, “Why do you think you feel this way?”). The student uses this opportunity to creatively process and convey their emotions. The Comic Strip then becomes a communication tool, allowing the student and teacher to work together to develop positive next steps (e.g., forming a resolution to the conflict, identifying how to make the student feel successful).

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