Comics are very powerful pieces of writing. Students enjoy reading and creating comics. Two apps on the iPad,, Comic Life and BookCreator, allow students to create their own comics.
One of the best ways to engage your students in a story writing dialogue activity, is to use Comics. What better way is there to show how writing dialogue needs to appropriate, clear and effective? If their characters’ dialogue does not drive the plot, then the audience cannot follow their story.
Students can use Comic Life or BookCreator to display their understanding of any topic in their non-fiction writing:
- Autobiographies or Biographies
- Speech Plan
- Instructional/Procedural Write
- Travel Guide
Comic Life and BookCreator have many unique comic features and the purpose for using these features needs to be explained to students.
- Panels and Pages
- a panel is like a paragraph, with one main idea
- size of panel shows time and importance
- we read panels left to right, top to bottom
- shows us setting
- develops mood
- Characters and important objects
- Text Features
- carries the narrative of the story
- tells us about setting
- explains what happens between panels
- Speech and Thought Bubble
- displays characteristic of characters
- Is often the core text feature, giving the most information
You can also have students explore App Smashing by:
- Adding themselves as characters on a background in PicCollage
- In Drawing Box, create their own drawings and add to their comic
- Create their own characters in Avatar Creator
Here is student instructions for using Comic Life
and Comics in BookCreator
Collaborative Writes Benefit all Students
- Collaboration strengthens writing skills and improves Communication
- Sense of Responsibility to complete a task improves growth in Personal Awareness
- Sharing of Ideas with a diversity of opinions and styles promotes Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
- Sharing of Expertise with Peer Editing develops Critical Thinking Skills
*Bolded Core Competencies
Using the iPads, collaborative writing can happen easily in the Google Environment.
Students can use either Google Slide or Google Docs to create and share the writing assignment.
Forms of Writing
Persuasive Writing (debate) using Google Slides or Docs
- A pair of students choose to debate a topic on the same document.
- Give Topics such as “Every child should or should not have a tracking device placed on them” or “Curfews”, “Uniforms” etc.
- One student creates the doc/slide and shares to partner
- When completed the writing, the students would edit, giving a strong argument for one, or decide to let the reader choose (more of a editorial write)
Research Writing Using Google Slides
- Students in pairs or triads, research a topic together dividing the topic into subtopics
- One Student creates a Google Slide and shares with group
- Students are each responsible to present the information on their own Google Slide pages, within the original document
- Remind students that this is an oral presentation, with visual cues
- Show students how to turn on the speaker’s notes, where they can add script to refer to in presentation
Narrative Writing Using Google Document
- Give students a genre of a traditional/parody story to rewrite (Fractured Fairy Tale, Animal Story, Fable)
- Divide students into pairs or triads
- One student creates the doc and shares with the group
- Put a table on the document, so that each student has a place to write
- The (2×6) table could include: Introduction, Setting, Protagonist, Antagonist, Problem, Attempt to Solve 1, Attempt to Solve 2, Attempt to Solve, Solution, Conclusion
- Students divide the task and write in their chosen cell
- Completed text can be copied and pasted into another application
- Choose a poetry form with a distinctive form such as sonnet
- Discuss the characteristics of the poetry form
- Sonnet 14 lines, 3 quatrains, 1 couplet, each line 10 syllables, rhyming scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg
- Divide students into groups
- One student creates the document and shares
- Create a table 2×14
- Label Column with rhyming scheme
- Each Student completes their assigned line
“How to Videos” are a craze on YouTube. To bump up the “How to” use Book Creator or Explain Everything. Both of these apps give a variety of extra tools to create a better procedural writing.
Bring in artifacts, such as skipping rope, card game, etc
- A, B, C, and so forth.
- first, second, third, and so forth.
- after, afterward, and then,
- at this point, at this time, before this,
- concurrently, consequently,
- finally, following this,
- hence, next, now,
- previously, simultaneously,
- soon, subsequently,
- then, therefore, thus
*Students can also use iMovie
Use this poem to create an iMovie.
The Bluebird Poem 1
or on Canada and government
I am Canadian Poem
imovieipad2 for iPads
imovie8greenscreen for Macbooks
- Read the poem
- Chunk the poem into parts (stanzas, couplets, etc)
- Find images for each of the parts (google image search, search tools, usage rights) and save to device
- Create a new iMovie
- IMovie must include:
- Digital stills
- Theme music, which fits the poem
- Sound effects
- Audio of reading of poem, making sure to capture the mood
Using iMovie is a creative way for students to practice the language of Compare and Contrast.
Here is a document with key words used in both compare and contrast.
Compare and Contrast
Use one of the Storyboards to have students compare and contrast two things. Each text line needs to be a sentence comparing or contrasting. The images in the storyboard will link to the text.
- their self with a peer
- their self with a character from a book
- two animals
- two countries