This was a lot of fun to work on. I took the picture with my Android phone using an app that made it look like a black and white line drawing (Camera 360) then I ran it through a pile of Photoshop filters until I got the look I wanted. The story in the strip is from a news story I heard on CCTV9 that I found sort of ironic. But, this took me quite a while to do. I'm sure that most teachers aren't interested in this sort of thing. But it did get me thinking about uses for comic strips in the classroom and I started looking for other tools.
Here are 4 online tools that I presented to our teachers:
StripCreator: This one is really easy to use, but the comic strips can't be embedded. You will need to print them out.
Pixton: This one is the most powerful of the four but takes a little more time to get things the way you want.
MakeBeliefsComix: Really cute. Really basic.
ToonDoo: This one is probably the best all-round choice. it has a lot of flexibility and a lot of images and characters to choose from. This one was very popular with my fellow MET students.
In the classroom, I found comic strips as a useful tool to get students to make storyboards while they were writing stories. They also made a nice alternative to journal writing for ESOL students who found the visual elements helpful in expressing their ideas. And putting together a comic strip isn't as simple as it seems. When you only have 4 or 4 frames to tell your story, you really need to distill it down to its essence. It is a good activity for reflection at the end of a unit. If you have more ideas about how to use comic strips in the classroom, please share. You are welcome to add your own comments.