I have already blogged about one cartoon creation webtool, Chogger, which is so far my favourite one to use. There are a couple of other alternatives for you and your pupils to make your own comic strips, and I’m going to introduce two of these today, Witty Comics and Make Beliefs Comix. These are both decent little tools, simple to use and with enough range to make them useful for a range of activities.
Starting with Witty Comics, go to the website here and click join to sign up (though you don’t necessarily have to). It is, naturally, free (long live free webtools!) Once you have done so you then have your 3 strip comic panel infront of you. You can adapt the background by clicking on the icons in the scene section, and change your characters by choosing which person you want for character 1 and 2. For the words, simply type in what you want them to be saying and choose the relevant speech bubble. And that’s really it! As I sau, there isn’t much else you can do with them, so possibly it doesn’t have as much flexibility as Chogger, but it does the job. Here is one I’ve quickly done for this blog.
You can click on this link to see it as well.
Make Beliefs Comix is very similar but you have a couple more options, as you can add more objects and move characters around the panel a bit more so there is more flexibility and therefore it could be used in more situations for vocabulary and so on. It is also a little more ‘cartoony’ than Witty Comics. You don’t have to signup which does mean that you have to either print out, screen capture or email to people if you want to store your comic creation, which is a little inconvenient as I am a natural hoarder and like to be able to find everything easily on the site I go to! With this site you click on things that then go into a ‘selection window’ . You click on the panel that you want this image, scene or speech bubble to go into and double click. You can then adapt them by using the tools on the right. When you are done, click next, and then make sure you have a printer attached if you want to print it out as you need to do this straight away. I have screen captured my one below with Jing, but you can also email them to classes or yourself to print out late.
There are a lot of uses for these comic creation sites, probably mostly with your younger year groups, either recent starters or maybe groups wth 1 or 2 years of the language. They can be language introduction tools, sources for comprehension exercises, ways of creating a picture that pupils can describe orally perhaps, and of course they can create their own to do writing practise in a more creative way. My 3rd form pupils have a couple of their creations stuck into their exercise books, and they can be used nicely as simple display options for walls, pinboards and your door. Nice, easy and effective.