As a kid, my mom would hit the grocery store one time every month. Yes, that’s right: She went grocery shopping 12 times a year. Deduction will lead you to the conclusion that this was a nine ‘till five affair, one that yielded two or three shopping carts, three or four tattered envelopes bursting with cut-out coupons and one unlucky checkout woman.
Oddly enough, this monthly calamity was one that I willingly endured. Why? The supermarket was kitty-corner from The Store, a comic book shop that kindly disburdened me of my meager allowance in exchange for a paper sack full of Spawn and Spiderman—and if I had enough money, maybe even an action figure. These comics inspired me with awe and fear; they prompted Halloween costumes and they even wooed me into picking up the pen and colored pencils so that I could create my own comic book heroes at the kitchen table.
Pop culture is still enamored by superheroes and classroom technology and so are our students—which is why I’d like to make a case for using comic books in the classroom. Comics might be especially beneficial for engaging reluctant readers and writers by helping them to develop their skills using a short, manageable format.
Online comic generators offer a fun way to use classroom technology in two mediums (comics and computers) that students will find exciting.
There are several FREE online Comic Generators you can use in the classroom to help students bring comic book ideas to life.
5 Online Comic Generators to Engage your Reluctant Writers
- Make Beliefs Comix! Make Beliefs Comix is a user-friendly format for generating comics. There is even a Special Needs section where teachers can get ideas and tips for adapting makebeliefscomix.com for a variety of disabilities. Teachers and therapists alike have noticed how comic books coupled with classroom technology can open up a new world of teacher/student/parent communication.
- Strip Generator. Strip Generator allows students to choose the number of frames they want and offers a seemingly inexhaustible bank of characters and objects that can be dragged into the frames. Even the non-artists in the class will amaze themselves with the professional comics they can create in a relatively short amount of time.
- BitStrips For Schools. BitStrips offers several options for teachers and their students. Students will love that they can create characters to represent themselves and/or their friends. There is also a Stop Bullying Comic Strip campaign that students can use or contribute to as well as a special BitStrips for Schools program. Teachers can start and cancel a 30-day membership for a one time assignment, or pay a nominal fee for monthly membership.
- Witty Comics. Witty Comics is about as simple as it gets when it comes to combining comic books and classroom technology. For a quick classroom length assignment, it is the perfect tool. Students have to create their comic in just three frames...which makes it an easy grading assignment as well.
- Read Write Think. Read Write Think is an excellent all-around teacher resource that also happens to host a Comic Creator. It's extremely simple to use, comes with enough variety of settings, characters and objects to engage students, and comics can be as long as 6 frames.
These five comic generators will inspire your writing superstars, as well as your reluctant scribblers, to hone their skills and engage with classroom technology in a new way.
At Marygrove College, we provide educators, teachers, professionals and administrators with the knowledge and practical ability to keep up with an ever expanding array of technology resources. Technology is rapidly changing—we want to help you stay current. If you are interested in successfully integrating educational technology into your school or classroom, learn more about Marygrove College’s online Master of Education in Educational Technology program!