There are always a few kids in my art classes who love comics. For them, I designed the Comic Book Club. With so many standards and mediums to cover in art, I find it useful to have an activity that comic book fans can do outside of the classroom. Not only will your students develop their own character and story, but at the end they’ll get a copy of the comics produced by the other students.
This is also a great resource for school librarians and classroom teachers who are teaching children how to develop characters and structure stories with a beginning, middle and end.
Comic Book Club has three projects that must be completed before they can draw the comic:
In Project #1, students draw the main character. It must be a complete figure, head-to-toe. In addition, they will write two or three sentences about their character.
Project #2 is for developing the other characters in the comic. There are four squares, one for each character. The kids can create 1 to 4 additional characters.
Project #3 is where they write the beginning, middle and end of the story. They will use this as a reference when they draw the comic.
Once all three projects completed, they will have a main character, sub characters and the structure of the story. They are now ready to draw their comic. Give them the final two pages.
The first page is the front and the back of the comic. On the front, they should write their name where indicated. In the large frame, they will illustrate the cover of their comic which will serve as an introduction to their story and main character. Tell them that each page correlates with the outline of their story: Page 1 is for the beginning of the story, page 2 is for the middle and page 3 is for the end.
Advise them to start in pencil then go over lines with an extra-fine black marker or ink pen. It’s okay if they use color, but let them know that the final copies given to all the students, will be black and white.
I like the streamlined simplicity of these worksheets. In the past I’ve made speech bubbles and other elements for kids to cut and glue to their drawings, but it was a waste of paper. The students gravitate towards drawing everything themselves.
Here’s a tip for writing speech bubbles: Always write the words first, then outline with a speech bubble. When kids draw the speech bubble first, they run out of room and try to cram as many words as they can in a small area.
Once all the comics are completed, it’s time to make copies. Copy them double-sided and fold them like a book. Your students will love receiving a stack of comics by their classmates and sharing their own comic. Make extra copies of each comic to display in the classroom and library.
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