Key Concepts

  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Motivation
  • Multiple Literacies
  • Readerly v. Writerly v. Producerly Texts
  • Self-expression
  • Visual Thinking

Key Principles

  • Concepts trump content.
  • Engage students with important disciplinary concepts and social issues through comics.
  • Focus students' attention on the ways that authors package concepts for target audiences, including aesthetic considerations and rhetorical strategies.
  • Consider the ways in which comics reduce cognitive load and make space for readers to increase their intellectual engagement with the text.
  • Offer students opportunities to exercise their own creativity and self-expression by re-presenting conceptual content and creating social commentary with comics.

Comics About Foreign Languages

Comics Auf Deutsch - Comic collection in German

The Comic Strips

Foreign Language Cartoons & Comics - From CartoonStock

Comics In Foreign Languages

Language Comics - Original short comics in French and Spanish for language learners

The Center for the Humanities Comics Collection

Comics Examples - A site dedicated to comics in English made machinima style (from the backgrounds and avatars of popular videogames). These would make interesting examples for similar student projects.

Marengo Story Comics (2nd Grade) - 2nd grade students create comic books to summarize and extend popular children's stories

HowtoonsLogo.jpg - Use comic strips as a tool for explaining content!

Andy Bobyarchick's Field Trip Comics- Use comics to share the story of your latest fieldtrip with parents and community members - Use comics to share the story of your latest fieldtrip with parents and community members

Comics in Education

ComicsInEducation.gif - A website created by graphic novelist Gene Yang that contains a history of comics in education, reasons for using comics in education, and quality resources (both online and print-based) for educators who wish to use comics in their classrooms. (From Gene Yang)

Comic Life - A great page filled with links to information on the use of comics and graphic novels in education, including lesson plans, sample student projects, software, tutorials, and more. Be sure to take a look at the other tech projects in the navigation bar on the left - chericem1 chericem1

GoingGraphic.jpg - Cary, Stephen. Going graphic: Comics at work in the multilingual classroom. Heinemann. ISBN 0-325-00475-7. A phenomenal book filled with practical ideas and activities for using comics as a tool for language teaching and learning in the K-12 classroom. The book is well-organized, research-based, and contains lesson plans and sample student work.

Comic Rubric - An outstanding rubric created by professional graphic novelist, Gene Yang, for assessing the formatting aspects of students' graphic novel projects. (From Gene Yang)

Escrapbooking - Links to lesson plans, software options, and step-by-step how-tos for creating comics in PowerPoint with sounds and animation - chericem1 chericem1

Graphic Novels for (Really) Young Readers

Graphic Novels in the Curriculum - Concise overview with links to quality resources, including a very nice handout. - chericem1 chericem1

HowToReadAndApproachCulturalDifferencesAndStereotypes.JPG - Handouts from an ACTFL 2010 presentation that contain a comic analysis worksheet form, a comic creation worksheet that asks students to analyze complementarity, contrast, and redundant relationships among images and text, lesson plans, project rubrics, and more. - chericem1 chericem1

Ideas for Using Comics in FL Classes - A few suggestions to help you start brainstorming - chericem1 chericem1

National Association of Comics Art Educators - Look at the Teaching Resources section to find links to exercises, handouts,and other online resources designed to help educators use comics in the classroom. (From Gene Yang)

No Flying, No Tights - An annotated list of graphic novel recommendations for children, teens, and adults categorized by age and interest. (From Gene Yang)

Recommended Graphic Novels for Public Libraries - An annotated list of graphic novels appropriate for ages 12-16. - chericem1 chericem1

Schwarz, Gretchen. Graphic novels for multiple literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. Retrieved February 21, 2007, from - A short, teacher-friendly article on how and why graphic novels support student learning. - chericem1 chericem1

Starr, Linda. (2004). Eek! Comics in the classroom. Education World.

Superman Finds New Fans Among Literacy Instructors - Article re: the expansion of a program that uses comic-creation and graphic novels to strengthen students' literacy skills after a study yielded promising results

UsingGraphicNovelsWithChildreenAndTeens.jpg - This short guide from Scholastic, downloadable as a PDF, addresses the whats, whys, and hows of using graphic novels in the classroom. - chericem1 chericem1

Comics Online

Bedetheque.png - A searchable database of comics in French - A site dedicated to comics in English made machinima style (from the backgrounds and avatars of popular videogames). These would make interesting examples for similar student projects. - chericem1 chericem1 - A very up-to-date site that contains popular comic strips, including many editorial cartoons from international comic strip artists

LambiekLogo.gif - An searchable, online encyclopedia of comics, available in Dutch, English, and French that is organized by artist. It contains biographical information about each artist, the history of their work, sample comics, and links to artist's websites and sites containing collections of the comic strips. - chericem1 chericem1

Mangarama - An index of Japanese comics that is searchable in English by title, words and phrases, or situation. - chericem1 chericem1

Quino.jpg - Site in Argentina containing Quino comics

ComicShopLocator.png - Type in your zip code to find the comic book shop closest to you. (From Gene Yang)

Commercial Comic Creation Software

ComicLife3.jpg - The ultimate in comic book creation software--flexible, functional, inexpensive, and intuitive--students can create their own comics based on digital photos they've taken (Free 30-day trial available. Unfortunately, only compatible with Macs) For free, online software that is very similar, visit Comeeko. - chericem1 chericem1

Foreign Language-Related Comics


Quino.jpg - Site in Argentina containing Quino comics

Picasso Woman - Depicts various women, one of whom is done in Picasso's style.

Free Animated Comic Creation Sites

GoAnimateNewLogo.jpg - Create animated cartoons (with or without audio - which can be recorded via phone)

XtranormalNewLogo.jpg - Create mini, animated videos from stock elements

Comic Creation Sites

BoysLifeComicCreator.png - Students can create their own Peewee comics by mixing and matching backgrounds, characters, props, adding text, and printing their creations - chericem1 chericem1

ComicCreatorReadWriteThink.jpg - Step-by-step interactive comic creation template from ReadWriteThink

Disney's Surf Swell Comic Creator - Students can select a famous Disney character, change their facial expressions and clothing, add a title and a short paragraph, and print their work - chericem1 chericem1

KerpoofLogo.jpg - Allows students or teachers to use comics and different characters with different emotional body language...You can create stories and apply text and thought bubbles. It goes up to 4 frames, but to do more than one, you can simply create 2 individual sets. It allows you to print and email them after!! But be sure you do! The site does not store them once you've closed the browser!

Mai'Nada Comics - Perfect for artists--lets you sketch and animate your own comic strips (in color) online for free - chericem1 chericem1

MakeBeliefsComix.png- Comic generator site lets you select from a number of different characters, change their emotions, overlap elements, rescale things, etc.

MoreComicsAndConversation.jpg-- One of a series of three books filled with reproducible blackline masters of humorous, wordless stories told through cartoons. Great for practicing narration in any language.
Ashkenas, Joan. Comics and conversation: Using humor to elicit conversation and develop vocabulary Studio City, CA: Jag Publications. ISBN 0-943327-12-1.

PikistripsLogo.png - Free, well-designed online software similar to Comic Life that lets you create comic strips and save them for others to view

- Comic strip creation site that will take Chinese characters (and translate them) - courtesy of Aaron Bray

Project Cartoon - This site lets you take a nicely colored version of the tree swing cartoon and customize its captions to suit your own project. It also has a variety of versions of the cartoon in multiple languages designed to be used in a wide array of contexts

StripCreator.JPG - A super site that allows students to select characters and backgrounds from extensive libraries, add text bubbles and titles, and save them online for others to see

StripgeneratorLogo.jpg - A phenomenal site with stock characters that will appeal to students and allows them to create truly original work

ToondooLogo.jpg - A really nice site that lets you drag and drop characters, props, and even speed lines, etc. into comic frames. You can position things in front of or behind other things using the buttons at the bottom. Very intuitive and kid friendly. Be sure to click on all the buttons (Suggested by vidgan1)

ToonletLogo.png - Comic creation software

Information Related to Comics

All Ages Graphic Novel Created Using Scribus, Inkscape, Gimp - Describes several open source softwares used to create a graphic novel

AnimeChecklist.gif - Searchable database of Japanese anime characters produced in Japan since 1917 (From Lee Sherlock & Megan Firestone)

The Comic Book Database - A searchable comic wiki with information regarding characters, creators, imprints, publishers, story arcs, and titles. (From Gene Yang)

Comics y la cultura de masas - Contains information in Spanish about a variety of popular comics and what they teach us about the cultures of those who created them - chericem1 chericem1

Scott McLeod's Inventions - Contains links to 5 different activities that could form the basis for motivating assignments for students - chericem1 chericem1


Readings in Spanish Re: Comics



Scholarship Related to Comic Arts

Image Text - An online journal in interdisciplinary comics studies (From Seth Morton)

International Journal of Comic Art - This link will take you to the table of contents for an online journal of scholarship that highlights comic art from different regions around the world - chericem1 chericem1


Comic Tutorial Dropdown