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Weekly Outline


Week 2: Sharing Stories through Comics


During this week, participants will

  • become familiar with web tools to create comics with young learners.
  • learn how to create comic stories with these tools.
  • reflect on the use of comics in the classroom
  • explore ways to integrate comics in their classroom in ways that improve reading and writing skills of learners
  • discover mobile apps for creating comics
  • create a comic using one of the tools from this week


Week 2 Tasks


Task 1, Day 1: How can we use comics in storytelling with young learners?


Comics and cartoons compress stories into a just a few frames. How might this be a strength in classes with young learners?


Look at Janet Bianchini's RSCON3 presentation, Fun ways to exploit comics and cartoons in the classroom. Then, browse through her Scoop.It collection of links and ideas for using comics and cartoons in the language classroom. (Note: You can subscribe to Janet's Scoop.It in order to receive updates to the collection in the future.) Use the ideas mentioned to begin your own brainstorming about ways to incorporate comics and cartoons in your own classes. 


Select one of the ideas that appeals to you and share it in our DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group. Why did you like this idea? Could you imagine using it in your own classes? Comment on the ideas that other participants post, and respond to comments in our DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group.


Visit the sandbox and begin playing around with some of the comic generator tools. Post any queries you may have about the tools in the DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group.


Task 2, Day 2: Exploring ways teachers have integrated comics into lessons 


a. Look at these examples of comics in the classroom:


Jennifer taught a course for teachers about technology tools. Participants created comic stories about their experiences and feelings in the course. Jen collected their stories in this Photo Peach slideshow.


Barb uses comics as storytelling tools with young learners in several ways--at the beginning of a project, at the end of a project, and (very rarely) as the main focus of a lesson. Here are three examples from her students.


As story prompts, comics can help students turn limited language into stories. Students can also practice reading and writing skills, and if you have students record narration for their story they'll get a lot of speaking practice, too. (If you say, "repeat this 10 times, students will groan" but if you say, "you can re-record until you are happy with your narration" they won't notice that they've repeated and listened with a keen ear for pronunciation MORE than ten times!)


Note: there are embedded sound files on slides 5 and 7 that will play automatically




For older children and teens, the attraction of comic creation tools is a powerful incentive for writing and revision (the reward after the hard work). 



Finally, comics can be used to reinforce story structure (beginning, middle, end), paraphrasing skills, and spelling. Here's an example from a lesson after we'd talked about the parts of a story. The task was to create a story with a beginning, middle, and end in 3 or 4 frames. The first draft focused on the story content; the final draft focused on spelling and sentence structure. Meaning comes first, but conventions (like spelling and grammar) are important if you plan on sharing your writing.




b. In the first case, the comic was the prompt for the lesson, in the second, it was the culminating activity, and in the third case it was the focus of the lesson. Like all tools, comics are flexible. Can you see a way to incorporate comics into your own teaching? How could you use these tools? Please share and discuss your ideas in our DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group


Task 3, Days 1-3: Play with comic creation tools


Start playing with comic creation tools. These three are easy to start with. There are more listed on the sandbox page


Garfield - you can create comic strips or (in Comics Lab Extreme) comic books 

ToonDoo - the site allows students to share their comics, comment on other comics, and even save and edit a copy of a comic

Make Beliefs - you don't need an account, so it's easy, but because there's no account there's also no online collection of your projects.

Cartoon Studio (iPhone/iPod/iPad app)- The free version gives you 3 strips with 2 characters and you can choose from various backgrounds and characters.


If you share your experiments on our posterous blog, tag them this way in your email: ((tag: Wk2, sandbox)) <--Don't forget the double parentheses and "tag:"


Tutorials Week 2 includes help for capturing an image (since many comics don't provide links), how to save an image of your comic, how to send this week's Posterous post (attaching an image), and tutorials for some of the comic creation tools here and in the sandbox.


When you are finished playing with one of the tools, post a reflection of your experience in the DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group. This way we can learn from each other. 


Choose one of the comic generators to use in creating your project for this week.



Task 4, Days 3-4: Create a Comic


a. Your project for the week is to create a comic summarizing your feelings after two weeks of this EVO session. What have you learned? Are you having fun? Has your thinking changed about using digital storytelling tools with young learners? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Anything goes, but you have to distill your story to fit the constraints of a comic strip! Feel free to bounce ideas off of your fellow participants in our DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group and to ask for help if you're struggling with any of the tools.


b. Once you've finished your comic, share it by sending an email to digitalstorytellingEVO2013@posterous.com. Be sure to:

--include your name somewhere in the post so we know who we're talking to (either up with the title, or in the body of your post)

--attach an image of your comic to the email

--add any comment you want to make about your project in the body of the email

--include your title and tags in the subject line

Like this:    Jennifer's Comic ((tag: Wk2, comic))  <--DON'T forget the double parentheses and "tag:"


Be sure to comment on your fellow participants' comics and to respond to comments about yours.


c. If you find yourself with extra time, please feel free to create and share additional comics.


Task 5, Day 6: Attend our Webinar


At our weekly webinar we'll showcase your comics from this week. You will have a chance to ask questions, and share ideas about using comics as a storytelling tool in the young learner classroom.  Sessions will be recorded, and the recordings shared in our archives, in case you can't attend. We will be using the Learning Times Elluminate Room. Your computer may take a few minutes to download the software and you will need to allow it to run. 


Webinar 1

Sunday, January 27th at 16:00 GMT (17:00 Barcelona, 18:00 Istanbul/Cairo, 21:00 Bangkok/Jakarta, 12:00 Beijing, 01:00 Tokyo Monday, 03:00 Melbourne Monday)

(What time is this for you?)


If you've never attended a session in Elluminate, please do this tech check!


If you have never used Elluminate before, you will need to join and create an account and download a program before you can join the session (all free), so be sure to allow yourself enough time (or take care of the set up prior to Saturday). We'll have moderators on Skype to help.


Checklist of Week 2 Tasks 

I have.....

  • read about using comics for storytelling with young learners 
  • commented on, and responded to comments in our DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group 
  • played with some of the comic strip generating tools in the Sandbox and posted my reflections
  • created a comic summarizing my feelings after 2 weeks of EVO and shared the comic on our posterous 
  • attended the live webinar or watched the recording 



Our Session Online Spaces

  • Our Wiki- hosts our bios, an outline of the syllabus, FAQs, weekly tasks, and resources
  • Our Livebinder of Resources- Click each tab to find a comprehensive list of our bookmarks, links, tools, etc. You can also copy this and edit it how you please. 
  • Posterous Spaces- This will be the place of your web portfolio of work.
  • DigiKids EVO Edmodo Group- for discussion and collaboration for participants



Week 2 Summary


Recording from the Webinar


The 2012 Digital Storytelling for YLs linoit collection of Ideas for Using Comics in Class


Comments (5)

Claudine Boucaud said

at 2:39 am on Jan 25, 2013

Hi What is the best way to save and have easy access to sites that we are finding and sharing? My Google bookmarks is exploding.

Heather Davis said

at 8:26 pm on Jan 25, 2013

Hi, I am using Symbaloo at the moment to try to get some way of keeping control. I have a page for the course itself but I also have a page with all of the apps we are learning about.

TeresaD said

at 6:34 am on Jan 26, 2013

THANK YOU for recommending Symbaloo. I just started using it and I love it!

Jennifer Verschoor said

at 8:46 am on Jan 27, 2013

I always use Diggo www.diigo.com because you can also add annotations.

Claudine Boucaud said

at 6:34 pm on Jan 26, 2013

OK I will check Symbaloo out. Thanks, Heather .

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