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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares

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Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • identify appropriate landscapes, characters, and props that relate to the events and characters in the books they've read.

  • interact with classmates to give and receive feedback.

  • explore how audience, purpose, and medium shape their writing.

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Session 1

  1. Introduce the writing activity, sharing the planning sheet, rubric, and sample graphic novels and comic books.

    1. Share the example graphic novels and comic books with students and explain the assignment, pointing out each of the parts that are included.

    2. Lead students through discussion of the key elements for each part. Sample discussion questions can include the following:


      • What are the important characteristics of a caption? What do the words in the captions tell you about the scene depicted?

      • What kind of landscape makes sense for the scene?

      • What props can you associate with the scene?

      • How kind of dialogue bubble makes sense for the interaction?

      • What connects one scene to the next in the comic strip?
  2. Once you're satisfied that students understand the assignment, demonstrate the Comic Creator student interactive and discuss its relationship to the Comic Strip Planning Sheet. Be sure to cycle through the options for characters and dialogue bubbles to show students the range of options available.

  3. Have students begin work with the Comic Strip Planning Sheet to plan their book reports. Students can work individually or in groups on this project.

  4. Encourage students to interact with one another, to share and receive feedback on their plans for comic strips. Since these comics will be shared in the class as well as in the library, hearing the feedback and comments of other students helps writers refine their work for their audience.

  5. Students can continue working on the project for homework if desired.

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Session 2

  1. Remind students of the goals and elements included in this project. Answer any questions students have.

  2. To make comic strips, have your students follow these basic steps, referring to their planning sheet as they work in the Comic Creator:

    1. For the comic title, name the scene (or scenes) that will be depicted.

    2. For the comic subtitle, name the book where the scene is found.

    3. Include your name or the names of the members of your group as the authors of this comic strip.

    4. Choose the six-frame comic strip. (Alternately, have students choose the one-frame cartoon square and focus their work on an important scene in the book).

    5. In each of the six frames of the comic strip show a significant event from the book.

    6. Under each picture or cartoon, write a caption that provides additional detail on the scene.

    7. Print at least three copies of your finished comic strip.

  3. While students work, again encourage them to interact with one another, to share and receive feedback on their plans for comic strips.

  4. After the comic strips are printed out, students can decorate them with markers or other classroom supplies.

  5. As students finish, ask them to turn in two copies of the comic strip (one for you and one for the librarian-the third copy is for the students to keep).

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

For more formal assessment, use the Comic Strip Rubric which is tied to the elements included in the planning sheet.

On the other hand, nothing is as useful as the feedback that they'll receive by sharing their comic strips with their peers. Informal feedback from students who read the comics and search out the related book are excellent feedback for students.

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