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Activity

Comic Book Show and Tell

 

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Comic Book Show and Tell

Grades 9 – 12
Activity Time One 60 minute session, broken into three 20-minute blocks
Activity Author

James Bucky Carter

James Bucky Carter

El Paso, Texas

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

  1. Introduce a pair or small group of teens to the activity by explaining to them that most comic books are made through teamwork.
  2. Have teens explore the The Comic Book Primer, Comic Book Scripting Techniques and the Sample Comic Book Script and Visualization.  Answer any questions as they arise.
  3. Have the teens come up with a topic for their comic.  Encourage them to start with a one- or two-sentence statement of the hero, the villain, and conflict.
  4. They can begin by writing the text first and then illustrating, or they can begin with the illustrations and then move to crafting the words. You may want to first have the teens use the Comic Book Planning Sheet to help them out.
  5. After the pair or group has made a rough plan, have them determine who will write and who will draw. Tell them they will be simulating the comic book production process by dividing the tasks and then meeting to discuss their individual work together.
  6. If the first person did the writing, invite the second person to create illustrations based on the script given to them. They can do this using paper and art materials, or online using the Comic Creator. For hints on how to use this tool, visit the Comic Creator Tool page.
  7. If the first person created the illustrations, the second person should write the words to accompany the pictures.
  8. After some time passes, the partners should switch back.
  9. Encourage the pair or group to engage in discussion of the product they are creating and the process they are using.  For example, ask the writer if the comic book pages look like what his or her scripts are saying. If not, ask the writer how he or she might revise the scripts to better help the artist draw more accurate illustrations.  Use this information for the next round of trades.
  10. Repeat as necessary until the comic is complete.

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More Ideas To Try

  • Ask teens to extend their stories to 5, 10, or even 22 (the average comic book length) pages.
  • Ask teens to create "How to" comics where they detail something they know how to do really well and can teach others to do well.
  • Ask teens to use their new talents to create comic book versions of books they might be reading for their independent reading lists.
  • After watching a movie not based on a graphic novel or comic book, have teens adapt the film (or selected scenes) into a comic book.
  • Many comic book shops have "quarter bins," where each comic book is 25 cents. Ask your vendor to help you pick comics appropriate for teens if you would like teens to model from actual comics. Another idea is to ask your vendor if they have anything left over from "Free Comic Book Day." If so, you might be able to get as many comics as you need for free.

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Glossary

Comic book

 

A book or magazine in which stories are told through a sequence of drawings and character speech.

Graphic novel

 

A book that uses drawings and dialogue to tell a story but is longer than a traditional comic book.

Script

 

The written part of a comic book or graphic novel, play, movie, or television show, including dialogue.

Creative writing

 

Forms of writing, such as poems, stories, and plays, that express the writer’s thoughts and feelings through imagination.

Conflict

 

The struggle a character has to overcome in a story. The conflict is usually with him- or herself, with another character, or with society.

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