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Learning Storytelling Elements the Fun Way!-A Visual Storytelling Lesson Using Comics

written by: S.A. Coggins • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 4/5/2012

Teach visual literacy to elementary school students through comics. This lesson plan shares how you can tie-in storytelling elements (beginning, middle, end, dialogue, narration) with visual elements (illustration, photographs, etc) to create a three-panel comic strip.

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    Visual Storytelling with Comics: Lesson Plan Background

    comic-strip-sample1 Year Level: 2/3

    Topics Covered: Media/Art/Literacy/English

    Lesson Aim/Objective: To learn visual storytelling through comics using a three-panel strip, showing a beginning, a middle, and an end.

    Student outcomes:

    • To show understanding of storytelling through the creation of a three-panel comic strip.
    • To be able to illustrate a story with a beginning, middle, and an end using drawings, photographs and/or clip art.
    • To tell a story using narrative and/or dialogue through the comics.
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    Preparations for Lesson

    • Print out blank 3-panel comic strip templates, as well as some blank speech and/or thought bubbles for the comics. There are a variety of different templates available online or you can create one of your own.
    • Have clip art and/or photographs ready for those who may choose to use them.
    • Make sure to give students a background lesson on storytelling with the use of beginnings, middles, and endings, as well as a lesson on narration and dialogue.
    • Collect comic strips that you can use as examples. Create some of your own using some of these comic making tools, if you don't have any existing ones handy.
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    Lesson Sequence

    • Start the lesson with a review of storytelling elements (e.g., beginning/middle/end, as well as narration and dialogue).
    • Talk about how pictures enrich a story, particularly through comic strips. Give examples of comics, particularly comic strips with three panels. Explain the beginning, middle and end of each comic strip. About three examples should suffice, if students are able to understand the concept.
    • Hand out the blank 3-panel comic templates to students. Ask them to create their own comics using the template. Let them know that they can use photographs, clip art, or their own drawings.
    • Give them time to complete their work. Move around the classroom to check if anyone needs help.
    • Collect the completed comic strips. You can assess them using the suggested criteria below.
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    Suggested Assessment/Rubrics

    1. Title (Does it show originality and creativity?)
    2. Illustration/Photography/Art (Do they tell the story appropriately from start to finish?)
    3. Narration/Dialogue (Were they used correctly and creatively to tell the story?)
    4. Story (Does it have a beginning, a middle, and an end?)