We had a very interesting workshop in class on creating of comic books using the application Comic Life .

Physical comic books were a huge part of my upbringing and I honestly think they played an important part in bridging the gap for me to higher literacy. The absolute wealth of diverse comic and graphic novel content available nowadays means that nearly every student can find something that resonates with them. For me, it was Marvel comics, and I loved the way the images and narrative tied together to form engaging stories.

My Collection

My Collection

In the workshop, in groups of five we were given a set amount of time and had to create a comic.  This was a great exercise in several ways: we had to collectively brainstorm a situation in a group, lay out our ideas, and present it in comic form.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the second workshop, but I was able to send some pics to my group and they did an amazing job putting together the story.

Great Job Group!

There are several reasons I think that having students create comics can be useful in the classroom. Firstly, some students simply hate writing and may even fear having to write in class. Creating a comic can help these students by adding the extra element of visual representation, allowing students to engage in writing in a more creative and dynamic way. Second, comics can be a great way to visually represent knowledge in a clear and concise way, perfect for study notes or condensing complicated material into more manageable chunks. Finally, I’ve seen first hand how useful creating comics can be in the ELL classroom. Many English learners struggle to produce any written language, but given the chance to create, they feel less pressure and begin to enjoy writing.

Anyway, this is another interesting tool and I look forward to actually testing it out in the classroom in the future.