A few weeks ago, I was searching for some new, exciting lesson plans for my classes and I stumbled upon this website:Grammar Man Comic. It’s a web-quest designed specifically for ESL students! I was pretty excited, though my excitement was tempered when I asked the teachers in the English office if I would be able to take my class to the rarely-used computer lab on campus, and they told me “it is impossible. The English teachers do not have access to the computer lab. It is only to be used by a different department.” Oh well. I decided to go forward with the Comic Book idea anyways, and I think my students really enjoyed it!
For our initial lesson, we did some “research” on some comic book characters that are already out there (Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) and talked about their common traits. We noted that it is really popular for comic book heroes to be orphans, and also that comic book heroes are almost always “the good guys,” taking a stand against criminals and evil-doers. Then I had my students create their own comic book characters (not just illustrations, but a full bio and back-story about the character). For the second lesson, I had my students split into groups and vote on their favorite character in the group (and of course, I had the groups that had a four-way tie going because each group member felt that they personally created the best comic ::eye-roll::). Then I tasked each group with creating a comic book story about the character that they had chosen, complete with a conflict/battle scene and a nice resolution. Some of them were excited, and some of them groaned, saying, “Teacher! It is too difficult!” (And yes, they really call me “teacher,” like it’s my name.)
The following week, I was really impressed by many of the resulting comics. I found that generally, the people lacking in artistic skills came up with a pretty creative story (if I were in this class, I’m sure I would fall into this category). And vice versa, the groups that had really incredible artwork were lacking in story. I’ve included a bunch of scanned copies below for you to take a look at:
Here’s one about Luffy (who I’m pretty sure isn’t an original creation. Oh well.):
Here’s another about Ian the alien:
Here’s one featuring the Powder Puff Girls:
This one is about a boy named Gourd:
This one is a strange story about a cat/dog inbred creature named Mimi:
This one is a pretty good story about a little cat named Niko. I’ve typed out the words below in case they’re too small to read:
“It is a winter morning. At the gate of the orphanage, there was a little cat. He was so hungry, and looks like so poor. The orphanage adopted the little cat. He was called Niko. Niko likes singing song. His voice is wonderful. Everyone in the orphanage all likes Niko because he likes to help others. Niko has many good friends: Amy, Mimi, Lucky…There is a bad cat called Andy in the small town. He was strong and really bad. Andy always bullies other people, rob other children’s candy and food. Niko want to help people to punish Andy, so he decided to challenge Andy to a fight. At last, Niko defeated Andy become the winner. Andy also promise he won’t bullies people again. Everyone is so happy.”
Cute, right? Here’s one about another orphan named Kodi:
“In ancient times, a family of three people were visiting their relatives or the way. Suddenly, a robber turned up to stop them. He killed the parents and took their money. Later, the kid was discovered by the Buddhist monk. They took him to their temple which was on the mountain. They adopted him for 20 years. They called him ‘Kodi’. Day by day, Kodi has grown up. He takes exercise every day. He enjoys himself every time. He becomes stronger and stronger. One day, a group of robbers planned to rob a town which is on the feet of the mountain. When he heard the news, he took his brothers to save the town and uniformed the robbers. After they arrived the town, the found several robber were robbing the town. So they run up and fighted them. Finally, they won. They were loved by the people in the town.”
And finally, I have a few poster-sized pieces of artwork that were handed in. They were too large to scan, so I snapped some pictures of them. I was really impressed!
I really enjoyed this activity! Only about one more month left before school is out, and we’ll be headed back home shortly after! 😀