How to Teach with Comics

Ideas for how educators can use comics and avatars in their classroom.

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3D Shapes

In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to practice using language to describe the basic features of three dimensional shapes. Students will use key vocabulary to compare and discuss shapes.

A Day in My Life

Students will create a comic taking the reader through a typical day in their life.

Active and Passive Voice

In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to practice using both active and passive voices.

Actually Fake News

“Fake news” is a term meant to indicate when a news source is misrepresented or not factual. This is often the result of bias in reporting, whether conscious or not. These days, we are each burdened with the task of filtering out this “noise” so that we can get to the heart of matters and not be distracted by loud, preference-driven commentary. Use this lesson to promote critical thinking and introspection among your students.

Adverbial Phrases

Students will practice working with adverb phrases to help provide description while speaking and writing.

African American Spirituals

Students will learn how some African American spirituals became necessary for exchanging secret messages among fugitive slaves for safe movement along the Underground Railroad.

America: The Melting Pot

Students will become familiar with the variety of reasons different groups of people chose to leave their homes and start a new life in America.

Analyzing Authors’ Work

Students will create a comic to demonstrate how two authors present different information about the same topic.

Animal Habitats

Frogs, monkeys, polar bears and more! Learn about the different habitats animals live in.

Area & Perimeter

In this lesson, students will write and solve word problems for the perimeter or area of a rectangle.

Asking For Help!

Students will practice how to ask for help in pre-designed scenarios.

Autism Awareness

Autism is a developmental disorder which affects approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States. Symptoms often include difficulty communicating with other people, repetitive behaviors and sensory sensitivities. Bring awareness and understanding to your students about autism, and teach them how to respond appropriately to pertinent situations with patience and sensitivity.

Be an Upstander!

Students will learn about living as an upstander and explore what they would say to someone who is bullying someone else.

Be Proud!

Students will celebrate accomplishments they’ve achieved in the last year.

Calling All Inventors!

In this lesson, students will imagine an invention that would solve a problem at home or at school e.g., completing chores, losing items around the house, being able to focus on homework, an improved lunchbox or backpack, carrying heavy materials for class, etc.

Calling All Superheroes!

Students will brainstorm and create a STEM superhero based on one of the components of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). Students will craft a scenario/storyline for their superhero based on their traits and STEM area of expertise.

Calm Down Strategies

This lesson is intended to reinforce and create an individualized calm down strategy for students.

Cause & Effect

Students will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding of cause and effect from informational text.

Cause and Effect

Students will learn about cause and effect words and use them in their own writing.

Cause and Effect

Students will make cause and effect connections between World War I and World War II.

Celebrate Your Peers!

Students will interview a classmate and create a comic panel celebrating their unique strengths and passions.

Checks and Balances

Students will learn how each branch of government plays a role in making sure another branch does not become too powerful using a system of checks and balances.

Climate Change

Climate Change is often cited as the defining issue of our time, as its ongoing effects threaten our collective future. In this lesson students will learn about climate change, its causes, potential impacts, and things that humans can do to address it. 

Coach It! Problem Solving

Students will use key words to solve word problems involving multiplication and/or division and create a problem solving comic of their own.

Code It & Define It

In this lesson, students will define a coding term by describing and providing an example of it in context.

Cognates

Students will notice cognates that exist in English and Spanish. These are words that are both visibly and audibly similar, and have the same meaning.

Comparing Numbers

In this lesson, students will read and write numbers in base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form. Students will also compare numbers using >, <, = symbols.

Conjunctions

Students will practice using conjunctions to combine sentences.

Consequences

We are all faced with daily decisions, each of which has good and/or bad consequences. Our ability to tackle these choices in an informed and responsible manner is key to the development of our personal character. Illustrate the consequences of our decisions, big and small.

Conserve to Preserve

Students will identify a current global issue affecting our environment and determine a method of how the issue can be solved.

Create a Procrastination Villain!

Students will learn to fight off procrastination and hone their writing skills by creating a “Procrastination Villain” comic.

Dare to Compare

In this lesson, students will work in pairs to explain how to create common denominators and compare fractions. Students will show the calculations used to create common denominators on a separate worksheet.

Dark and Stormy

Get students familiarized with Pixton by asking them to imagine a spooky story about being alone in a house on a dark and stormy night.

Denotation and Connotation

Understanding the difference between denotation, the strict meaning of a word, and connotation, the feeling the word conjures, can be challenging to wrap one’s head around. Visually demonstrate the difference for readers and writers.

Desert Island

Consider the classic question, "Who or what would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?" with your students. Encourage students to apply their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to ensure their survival.

Details, Details!

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the main idea and details of a story by creating a comic.

Diabetes

Use this to lesson to introduce students to diabetes and strategies for maintaining good health.

Digital Habits Quiz

Students will take a true or false quiz to test their knowledge about digital usage and their mental health, and then create a comic showing some positive alternatives.

Dinosaurs

Students will create a comic based on the fossil record.

Distance Problems

Students will interpret data to write and solve a real-world word problem involving distance.

Egyptian Math Mashup

Practice math skills and learn about Egyptian history at the same time with this exercise.

Exponent Power

In this lesson, students will learn to write and evaluate matching expressions and exponential form involving whole-number exponents.

Factor Finder

In this lesson, students will learn about prime and composite numbers and their factors.

Family Life

Introduce a special family - from "a day in the life," to cherished memories. Have your students add characters that look like relatives for a uniquely personalized experience.

Famous Women Scientists

From Marie Curie to Jane Goodall, Alice Ball to Gertrude B. Elion, female scientists have always played a major role in the advancement of our understanding of the world around us. Research and celebrate the achievements of these dedicated experts in their fields.

Father's Day

Students can create the perfect Fathers’ Day card, incorporating an avatar of themselves and their father or guardian as well as a message to express how much this family member means to them.

Find the Good

In this lesson, students will describe a beneficial way to utilize the Internet and/or social media that impacts the greater good.

Flower Power Division

Students will solidify their understanding of division while creating a word problem comic.

Following a Routine

This lesson is intended to reinforce what to do during daily routines to help students be successful and minimize disruptions in the classroom.

Fraction Word Problems

In this lesson, students will write and solve word problems involving the addition or subtraction of fractions with like denominators.

Fractions

This lesson is intended to reinforce vocabulary and language used to describe fractions. It can be used as an ESL lesson or as a math lesson to reinforce the concept of fractions.

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a term used to describe a particular kind of emotional abuse. It's the act of manipulating someone into questioning the validity of their own perceptions, thoughts and memories. Introduce students to this serious problem often experienced in personal relationships and by means of public figures.

Genres

This lesson is intended to reinforce the language and vocabulary needed to discuss the genre of a text. Use this lesson as an informal assessment to determine the knowledge and features of genres.

Get to the Root

This lesson provides students with the opportunity to practice using Greek and Latin roots to help figure out the meaning of words they’re not familiar with.

Global Problem Solvers

In this lesson, students will describe an invention that would solve a global/ environmental problem e.g., flooding, waste disposal, pollution, extreme heat, etc..

Gratitude Journal

Students will create a comic journal documenting what they’re grateful for.

Greetings!

Students will learn and practice formal and informal phrases for greetings, making introductions, polite conversation and saying goodbye.

Guess My Number

In this lesson, students will provide clues to the location of a mystery rational number on the number line.

Handling Conflict

Students will read a conflict comic and discuss conflict resolution.

Health Is Wealth

Students will learn about the importance of taking care of your health.

Healthy Relationships

Set your students up for life in and out of school by teaching them about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.

How Questions

Students will explain a phenomenon by answering “how” or “why" questions.

How Similar Are We?

Students will be able to compare and contrast cultural aspects of different ancient civilizations that developed around the same time.

I Declare

Students will read an informational text and practice using declarative statements to provide objective, factual information.

I Used to Think/Now I Think

Students will use the I Used to Think/Now I Think strategy to help them determine specific text evidence and infer information drawn from text. They will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding before and after reading.

Idioms

Students will recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms.

Impact of Resources in a Region

Students will recognize and understand the impact resources have in the development and growth of their region, either locally or statewide.

In the News!

Students will create a News Story comic to share information or explain a topic.

Innovation Starts With Us

Students will explore different inventions and innovations during the Industrialization era and the role of these inventions in their state and/or United States.

Inspire Donations to Those in Need

Students will practice persuasive writing while inspiring others to donate to charities or people in need with this lesson on giving back.

Integrity

Students will use comic scenarios to discuss if the characters are showing integrity or not.

Interjections!

Students will learn to use interjections in writing through the creation of a comic.

Interpreter Needed!

Students will write their own equations using parentheses, brackets, and/or braces and explain the order of how to solve.

Interpreting Graphs

Students will learn the basic parts of a graph in English and use simple sentences to explain its features. Students will use the information from the graph to draw conclusions.

Justify the Symmetry

In this lesson, students will explain how they know whether a sample object is or is not symmetrical.

Kindness Checklist

Students will practice kindness while completing a Kindness Comic Bingo Card.

Laying the Foundation

Students will identify significant figures and understand why their state was founded and established.

Let's Take a Trip

Students design a comic brochure about a destination and notice language patterns used to describe a specific place.

Main Idea and Details

Students will determine the main idea and at least two supporting details of a passage.

Making Inferences

Students will practice expressing their ideas and inferences about a text.

Making Smart Choices

Students will use comic reflection questions to learn how to make good decisions at home and in school.

Mark It!

This lesson reinforces the language associated with finding the percent of numbers when solving word problems.

Meeting a New Student - Greetings

After learning how to greet people the language being taught, students will read a sample conversation comic and make a Greetings comic of their own.

Mothers' Day

Use this activity to introduce students to the history of Mother's Day while creating the perfect Mother's Day card. Students will incorporate an avatar of themselves and their mother or guardian as they express how much their mothers mean to them.

My Reading Log

Students will reflect on their independent reading selections and demonstrate their understanding of the texts by creating a comic reading log.

My Trust Team!

Students will illustrate avatar versions of people in their lives that they trust and can confide in.

Name That Region

Students will learn how the colonial regions; northern, middle, and southern differed economically by exploring the advantages of their locations and what they exported.

Neolithic Revolution

Students will recognize and understand the impact agriculture had on culture and daily life of peoples living during the Neolithic Era.

Nouns

Students will define and provide examples of nouns, identify various objects, use appropriate nouns while writing to bring clarity to the audience.

Opposites Attract!

Students will deepen their understanding of current vocabulary terms by exploring antonyms.

Our First Colonists

Students will explore the first colonists who settled in their community.

Panama Canal Debate

Students will practice their research and debate skills by creating a comic which explains their perspective on a historic event.

Participation Is Key

Students will explore ways in which citizens can participate in the democratic process in the United States.

Party Balloon Subtraction

Students will better understand addition and subtraction by solving and creating multistep word problems.

Passion Project

Students will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding of a selected topic of their choice. They will do some basic research for this passion project.

Pattern Pair Play

Students will create a numerical pattern using a given rule and apply to generate ordered pairs. Students will explain the relationship between the numbers.

Perfect Patterns

Students will create and explain their own number patterns and rules.

Perfectly Proportionate… or Are They?

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems. Students will justify and explain if two given quantities are proportional.

Perseverance Power!

Students will create themselves as “Perseverance Superheroes” and find a quote that inspires them to never give up.

Personal Traditions

Students will create comics about personal traditions they celebrate outside of school.

Places in the House

Students will practice vocabulary “at home” through the creation of an “Around the House” comic.

Plural Nouns

Students will explore the rules of making nouns plural. Students will practice using the correct spelling of plural nouns.

Political Cartoons

Students will learn about the impact imperialism had on indigenous peoples and cultures from around the world.

Prefixes

Students will create a comic to inform others how to figure out the meaning of a new word using prefixes.

Preposition Power!

Students will learn about prepositions. They will create a comic to demonstrate the use of prepositions in sentences.

Progressing Action

Students will learn about progressive verb tenses. They will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding of progressive verb tenses.

Prove It!

Students will learn to support a point of view.

Push / Pull Factors

Students will develop an understanding of the reasons why people leave their home and begin a new life in a new place.

Ready, Set, Action!

Students will practice using action verbs to describe what is happening in the present tense.

Rewind Your Routine

Students will organize premade comics in the order that aligns with how they live their own morning routines.

Rights & Responsibilities

Students will be able to distinguish between protected rights and responsibilities as members of their community/state/country.

Role of Women During WWII

Students will recognize and understand the impact women had on the developing identity of the United States as it emerged from WWII as a World Leader. 

S.M.A.R.T Goal Refresher

Students will review the meaning of the acronym of “S.M.A.R.T.” goal in preparation to write a goal of their own.

Same but Different

Students will learn about homographs and create their own comics to illustrate common homographs.

See, Think, Wonder

Students will use the See/Think/Wonder strategy to help them better understand scientific information or text. They’ll demonstrate their understanding in a comic.

Self-Advocacy

This lesson is intended to allow students to practice asking for help in the general education setting while creating a future scenario.

Sequencing Time and Events

Students will use correct sequence words to describe the order of events in a story when speaking and writing.

Setting Boundaries

Through prompted questions in comics, students will reflect on people and situations where they may have struggled with setting boundaries to better prepare for similar future scenarios.

Shape Classifications

In this lesson, students will classify a given set of shapes and provide an explanation to justify their answer.

Shape Riddles

In this lesson, students will craft riddles to describe 2D shapes based on their points, angles, and lines.

Show Me The Money

Students will understand the three major economic systems and explore the pros and cons of each.

Silly Similes

Students will demonstrate their understanding of similes by creating a comic.

Simple Machines

Students will demonstrate an understanding of simple machines and how they are used to make work easier.

So Many Syllables!

Students will analyze multisyllabic words in context to determine the meaning, syllables, and word parts.

Spot The Differences

Use this fun little exercise to have your students practice their observation skills by having them list out the five differences between these comic panels. Or, use this idea to make your own Spot The Difference activities!

State Your Case!

Students will create a comic expressing an opinion with reasons to support the opinion.

Staying Safe Online

In this lesson, students will share what they know about staying safe online.

STEM Challenge Reflection

In this lesson, students can reflect after completing a STEM challenge to show their thought process and reflect upon the results.

STEM Is Everywhere

In this lesson, students will choose a future career that interests them and create a STEM comic.

Step-By-Step Solve It

Students will explain the solution of multistep word problems using the four operations.

Student Interview

Students will practice the skills being learned in class by creating I-statements in the language being learned.

Summary Tweet & More!

Students will read an informational text article and determine the central ideas of the text.

Super Suffixes

This lesson is intended to reinforce the idea of determining the meaning of words with suffixes. Students will create a comic to inform others how to figure out the meaning of a new word using suffixes.

Super Summaries!

Students will create a comic summarizing a text they have read in class.

Supporting Your Opinions

Students will practice responding to opinion statements of others with their own personal preferences.

Test Taking Strategies

Students will learn some test taking strategies and create a comic to demonstrate their understanding.

Thanks for the Tip

Students will use percentages in order to determine how much to tip while creating a fun, mathematical comic.

That’s Perfect!

Students will learn about perfect verb tenses. They will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding of perfect verb tenses.

The 3 Branches

Students will learn about the three branches of government and be able to differentiate between them.

The Art of Apologizing

Through this sample comic, students will learn to use compassionate words when apologizing.

The Brain Names!

Students will use the pre-created comic panels to review brain terminology.

The Events Leading to WWII

Students will investigate key events during the interwar years that indirectly or directly lead to World War II.

The Great Depression

Students will learn about the Great Depression and demonstrate their understanding of this economic downfall.

The Incan Defeat

Students will develop an understanding of how the Incas interacted with the Spanish Conquistadors.

The Jewish Plight: Interwar Years

Students will learn about discrimination, prejudice, and the attempted genocide of Jewish people during the Holocaust and the years leading up to WWII.

The Mighty Power of 10

In this lesson, students will explain the pattern of the number of zeros of the product when multiplying by powers of 10. Students will recognize that powers of 10 are represented as 10 with an exponent.

The Plot Thickens!

Students will examine a story to determine how the plot unfolds and how the characters change based on the plot.

The Power of Yet!

Students will explore the power of “yet” and create a “Things We Can’t Do Yet!” comic.

There You Go Again!

Students will correctly use frequently confused words there/their/they’re.

There’s an App for That

In this lesson, students will develop the idea for an app that will solve a school or home problem.

Think Like a Geographer

Students will explore the interaction inhabitants of river valley civilizations had with their surrounding environments and how they adapted and innovated to meet their needs.

Too Many Twos!

Students will correctly use the frequently confused words to/too/two.

Top 5 Facts

Students will conduct a short research project about a topic. Students will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding of the researched topic of their choice.

Transcontinental Railroad

Students will understand the impact the transcontinental railroad had on the economy, environment, and culture of the United States.

Transition Words

Students will create a comic using transition words to convey sequence.

Types of Pronouns

Students will learn about subjective, objective, and possessive pronouns. They will create a comic to demonstrate properly using pronouns in writing.

Verb Tenses

Students will work on using present, past, and future tenses with appropriate time markers when speaking and writing.

Visible & Invisible Me!

Students will define visible characteristics that describe who they are and then explore the invisible characteristics, or things that are unseen and felt inside, that define who they are but people may not know.

Visible Connections

Students will make connections between fictional texts by creating a visual presentation.

Vocabulary: Get the Picture!

Students will determine and clarify unknown vocabulary words by creating a comic version of the Frayer Model.

Water Cycle

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the water (hydrologic) cycle by creating comics depicting and explaining each stage of the cycle.

What Triggers Me?

Using comic scenarios, students will reflect on what triggers them and how to cope with those triggers.

What We Make

Students will learn and explain how agriculture has impacted their state.

What's the Point of View?

Students will analyze how an author develops and contrasts points of views of characters in a text.

What? So What? Now What?

Students will learn to better comprehend and check their understanding of nonfiction text by asking reflective questions. They will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding and personal connection to the content in a social studies text.

What’s the Ratio?

Students will define the meaning of a ratio and provide several examples using real-life scenarios.

Where’s the Evidence?

Students will practice speaking and writing arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Who Is the Narrator?

Students will learn about first and third person points of view by narrating comics of their own.

Word Detectives

Students will practice using context clues to determine the meaning of an unknown word.

World Languages Introductions

This comic will introduce students to 1. Basic greetings, 2. How to use Pixton, 3. How to use the Input Method Editor (keyboard) of the target language.

Would You Rather?

Play a game of Would You Rather with your students to make writing opinion texts even more fun than it already is with Pixton!

Writing Multi-Digit Word Problems

In this lesson, students will create word problems requiring addition or subtraction of multi-digit numbers. Students will solve word problems written by a classmate.

Yes/No Questions

Students will practice asking and answering "yes" or "no” questions with the verb “do”.