Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Student Created Comic Books

For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a school in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. You can download my E-Book of Websites for the Elementary Classroom for free from Teachers Pay Teachers or Smashwords, or, you can check back here each week for the website suggestion.

Creating online comic books with kids - website suggestion & ideas on how to utilize in your classroom - from Raki's Rad Resources.

I love finding new, interesting ways for students to write – and publish writing – on the internet.  I wrote about 10 of my favorite websites for this in my Top 10 Writing Websites blog post awhile back, but I am always finding new options.  This month, I found one one that would definitely be worthy of a place on a top 10 list: Pixton Comic Strip Maker.  If you’re familiar with Storybird, Pixton is a very similar concept, except that instead of making online storybooks, students create online comic books.  However, like Storybird, students can publish their work and leave each other comments.

If you register for a “Pixton for Fun” account, you can make and share as many comic books as you would like, but you can’t print them or have access to their community.  For those options – and a few others - you need a Pixton+ account, a Pixton for Business account or a Pixton for Educators account (which is about $8.99 a month, depending on the size of your class).  I’m a cheapskate and have signed my kids up for fun accounts, but the Educator version has some cool features and if I had the money available, it would definitely be up there on my list of wanted technology tools.

Within Pixton, you can create and save your own characters and backgrounds.  These characters and backgrounds can then be added into any variety of comic books.

Creating online comic books with kids - website suggestion & ideas on how to utilize in your classroom - from Raki's Rad Resources.

 

My second grader recently finished his novel study of Mister and Me.  Before he took his test, I had him complete an Online Book Report, which didn’t have Pixton listed as an option.  However, he had seen me playing around with it recently and asked if he could do a summary using Pixton.  Here is what he came up with:

 

 

The results were so cool, that I have added Pixton as a permanent option on my Online Book Report.  However, book summaries are far from the only way to use Pixton.  Here are a few ideas that I thought of while I was exploring the site:

- Have students create a summary of important historical events – battles of the civil war, the discovery of the Americas, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, etc.

- Have students create a comic book explaining a scientific process like photosynthesis or meiosis.

- Have students create a comic book explaining the class rules at the beginning of the year.

- Have students create a comic book with a Good Character Super Hero showcasing a good character trait.

- Have students use a comic book to present a step by step or how to process writing.

How could you use Pixton in your classroom?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources