Telia the Monkey
With the popular explosion of Fairy Tales in Entertainment, students are becoming more familiar with classic fairy tales. All fairy tales and fables revolve around a moral or a lesson. Using these classic examples, a variety of story writing activities can be generated.
- Fractured Fairy Tales
A story that uses fairy tale characters, settings, or plot elements, and alters the story’s point of view or setting, to create a new and often humourous story. The original moral/lesson in the story may also be changed.
A story that uses morals to teach a lesson and often uses animals as characters.
Simple morals such as “Don’t Take Things From Strangers” in Snow White, to “Slow But Steady Wins the Race” in the Tortoise and the Hare, can inspire students to create stories which can be illustrated.
While working with a class last week, I gave students each a moral (ListofMorals) and asked them to generate a story from this moral. As most fables revolve around animals demonstrating human characteristics (personification), I asked them to use animals as characters. Their animals were to be well suited to the role like choosing a fox to depict a devious character. The problem in their story was generated from their moral so the moral “appearances often are deceiving” could have a character who trusts a “beautiful” character and/or mistrusts an “ugly” character.
The students were asked to use Inspirations ( Fableoutline) to organize their stories, generating ideas for characters, setting and attempts to solve problem. Students were then to draft their stories on Word and begin chunking the story on pages for future drawings. I suggested a minimum of 6 pages, therefore 6 drawings.
The teacher and I talked about the opportunity for these students to read their completed stories to younger students. This generated excitement within their class as now an audience was a reality. Story writing is more exciting when the audience is beyond their own class.
Technology not only changes how we write, but it also changes what writing is. In the media rich environment of the 21st century, digital graphic writing is one genre students need to be fluent.
Why use Comics?
- A great visual representation of knowledge
- Easier to remember a visual graphic containing key information
- Engage through thinking, creating and writing
- Perfect avenue for writing dialogue
- Helps organization through storytelling and storyboarding
How Can I Integrate Comics in My Curriculum?
- Social responsibility stories using photographs imported with speaking bubbles (developing social stories).
- Show a mathematical concept
- Develop science process by taking photos of processes and add captions to explain both process and hypothesis/conclusions.
- Delve into a historic event and represent what the characters’ motivations may have been.
- Develop a newspaper-style, four-panel comic strip: Encourage pupils to create a short comic strip based on the styles of Peanuts, Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes. Progression can be made onto creating longer narratives.
- Deconstruct a chapter in literature circles.
Getting Started Resources
Comic Life Quick Start Guide
Comic Life Comprehensive Manual