Sunday, February 17, 2013

Make Beliefs Comix - more exploration

I tried to find another comics site that I liked, but I didn't find another one that was easy enough for students to use.  So I spent some time exploring Make Beliefs Comix a little more.  I found some more features of the site other than what I noticed the first time I looked at it.  This site also includes already made comics that can be used as printables.  I know that this use of the site isn't exactly web2.0, but it is a resource that I will find useful in my classroom.  I am constantly searching for creative writing prompts for my students to complete during writing and during morning work time.  This prompts can be printed or displayed on the document camera.  This site also has already made comics that have blank speech bubbles.  Students could be asked to fill in the thoughts of the characters.  Again, I know it isn't web2.0, but another resource I would like to use.

This site provides lesson plans on how to use comics with students. One lesson I found is on summarizing stories. One strategy that is taught in elementary school is called "Somebody wanted but so". Students explain who the somebody in the story is. Then they tell what the somebody wanted. They explain what happened to change the original idea and then they explain what actually happened. Students can use the four-frame comic to show a picture representation of this strategy.

Another feature that I like is the teacher resources section. This has 21 different ides on how to use the site in the classroom. I like the idea of using a comic to practice vocabulary words. A big push with my students this year is vocabulary. Creating a comic to explain what words mean is interesting for students and an easy way for teachers to see if they really understand the words.

If students were working with other students on a tellacollaborative project, creating a comic would be a good way to introduce the students to each other. Each student could create an autobiographical comic to share with the other students they will be working with. They could provide information about their interests and their families. I think this would be a good tool to use to communicate with students that are learning English through a tellacollaborative project. Students that already speak English can provide information through comics to students that are learning the language. The site provides tools for writing in the following languages:
Students can type in their language and cut and paste to put it into the comic. Students that are also learning one of the other languages can practice their skills by using one of the sites before creating their comic.  They can use their comics to communicate with other students who speak the language or are also learning the language.

When I first found this site, I didn’t like it and wanted to find another comic site. After exploring more today, I found that I do like this site because of all the additional resources it provides.

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