Posts Tagged ‘cartoons comics classroom presentations’

Toon Up Your Classroom

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I have loved cartoons and comics since I was a child. They are simple and to the point. In my house growing up there was always a copy of the New Yorker laying around. I ,of course,  just looked at the cartoons. I have cartoons hanging all over my office. As I have come to learn a cartoon is generally one panel while a comic is a series of panels. But either way they can convey information in a different entertaining way. Check out this TED talk about the power of cartoons.

Another Mode of Expression
So why not use them in your classroom? I have used them in several ways in my classroom. Are you looking for a different type of assignment that your students can do to express their ideas or that they understand a concept? A comic or cartoon is a great assignment. I teach a class on Energy and Environment. I ask the students to create a comic that would get people to understand the importance of safe guarding the environment. I have them choose from several resources to create their comic. One resource is Pixton. Here is an example of a comic created with Pixton. There is a paid version for education to keep them private as well.

Another resource is ToonDoo. ToonDoo has a lot of options and tools. The learning curve is a bit steeper but there is more flexibility.  You can save the cartoons as pictures to use in other resources such as Word, PowerPoint or a blog post.

In addition TooDoo has a great feature called TraitR that allows you to create your own characters. This is really fun and you can really make your colleagues, friends and family come alive in the cartoon world. I think students would really love this.

A couple of other resources that are not as rich but still useful are Make Beliefs Comix, Read Write Think comic creator and Strip Generator.  All the  resources are basically drag and drop or click and drag. Students seem to learn them fast. Many of them have start up tutorials to assist students and faculty.

Another Presentation Format
I also use cartoons inside PowerPoint or other presentation formats just to mix it up a little. There is a great web site that offers characters that you can reuse however you like as long as you give them credit. Design Comics offers character and backgrounds. I utilized them for a last presentation for my students at the end of a semester. They gave me the idea when they were leaving cartoons on my desk throughout the semester. Here is a screen capture of how to use Design Comics.

I think I will save the animated movies you can create for another post. What are you doing in your classroom with cartoons and comics? Leave a comment and share.