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Saturday, May 16, 2009

makebeliefscomix.com

In a foreign language class, one of the primary objectives is for students to express themselves in the target language. A free tool like www.makebeliefscomix.com is a great platform that encourages students to create comic strips using the vocabulary they have learned. Teachers can easily create comic strips and use them as reading activities that convey the essence of the lesson in a fun and effective way.

I have used this tool with my students and they have enjoyed creating the comic strips. It really helps to assess what they have learned.



Recently, the creator of the tool, Bill Zimmerman, also added a feature called Printables, where you can print comic strip templates and add your own dialogs. This can be used by students to create a story based on the pictures and characters they see.

makebeliefscomix.com has a variety of characters, each displaying different emotions, that can be used to create a story. There are talk balloons and thought balloons that can be used to enter the dialogs. Also, there are edit features to change the size of the characters or to flip them.

The comic strips can be printed or emailed. There is no way to save an incomplete comic strip, so it is advisable to complete it in one go. In class, I always make sure that students prepare their story the day before so that when they go to the computer lab to create the comic strip, they already have a story with the dialogs and they can utilize their time to create the comic strip.

See how ESOL (English as a Second Language) students at City College in New York City, use this tool to enhance their learning of the English language:

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