TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 25, 2022

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Free Comic Maker.Com - Magazine Pro

Grades
4 to 11
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This comic book maker is a fun and free resource that is easy to use and suitable for any grade level. Students can create comics quickly and easily using this ...more
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This comic book maker is a fun and free resource that is easy to use and suitable for any grade level. Students can create comics quickly and easily using this step-by-step comic template. Choose from a list of pre-made templates, then start creating! Ready-made clipart characters and speech bubbles are provided; students can upload their own pictures, or search the free Pixabay library, reviewed here, within this website.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), creative writing (119), descriptive writing (37), digital storytelling (135)

In the Classroom

Creating comics can have many practical and engaging uses in the classroom. Students can retell stories to demonstrate comprehension or show their knowledge of scientific processes in a way that allows them to be creative. Comics can also be used to enhance social and emotional learning skills by having students create scenarios they might encounter in daily life. Teachers may also wish to create comics to provide a fun way to relay information, or as an engaging set to a lesson.

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OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire: Comics in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Looking for an easy

...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Looking for an easy way to infuse visual literacy in your instruction? Try using comics in the classroom! Visual literacy is quickly becoming a must-have skill, and infusing comics in your instruction can help students easily learn and practice it. In this workshop, you will learn to help students create comics that demonstrate both their visual literacy skills and comprehension of the content they are learning. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn to use comics to teach visual literacy strategies; 2. Explore tools to create comics; and 3. Discuss assessment strategies for using comics in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), professional development (312)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.

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Comic Strips Templates - Canva

Grades
K to 12
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Design and share high-quality comic strips using the many free templates from Canva's Comic Strip Templates. Choose from numerous colorful designs in various formats, including single...more
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Design and share high-quality comic strips using the many free templates from Canva's Comic Strip Templates. Choose from numerous colorful designs in various formats, including single strips or comics with multiple frames. Begin by clicking Create and using the dropdown box to find free templates for comics, narrow choices by color if desired. After selecting a template, choose the link to customize. Each template includes several pages that form a complete cartoon, a blank frame, and illustration sets to enter with your design. The share option offers the ability to share creations with others and allow them to edit the comic. When complete, download your finished cartoon to your device as a PDF file or PDF, JPG, or GIF image.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), graphic design (48)

In the Classroom

Engage students by using the templates to display the day's vocabulary word, the math puzzle of the week, a concept your students are learning in social studies or science as an example. Have students create comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting, and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. For pre-reading students, create a comic of pictures and tell the story based on the pictures/scenes. It's a good idea to require students to create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book is likely to become a class favorite! Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to a traditional assessment. Have students share all of their comics on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Webcomics Web Archive - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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The Library of Congress presents this collection which features comics created explicitly for the web beginning in 2014 and ongoing. Selections include award-winning comics as well...more
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The Library of Congress presents this collection which features comics created explicitly for the web beginning in 2014 and ongoing. Selections include award-winning comics as well as those featured based on significance in the field of comics. Browse through the collection items or use search features to narrow your selection by different criteria including format, date, subject, and location. Please note that all content is provided in its original form and may not be suitable for all ages.

tag(s): artists (76), comics and cartoons (47), politics (106)

In the Classroom

Include this collection in art classes during the study of comic book art. Share comics with students in history classes along with newspaper comics to demonstrate the use of comics to depict historic events or share political beliefs and satire. In literature classes, include this site along with others to share comics depicting characters in novels. Have students create their own comics or cartoons to summarize story events or depict characters and events from history using a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to create single frame cartoons. Find more uses for using comics in the classroom by viewing the archive of our OK2Ask session Engage & Inspire: Comics in the Classroom, reviewed here.

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ToonyTool - ToonyTool

Grades
2 to 12
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ToonyTool has a simple canvas to quickly create a single-frame comic, a cartoon strip, or an animation. With ToonyTool, you can add a dash of humor to get the message ...more
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ToonyTool has a simple canvas to quickly create a single-frame comic, a cartoon strip, or an animation. With ToonyTool, you can add a dash of humor to get the message across. Start your canvas and choose a single comic, a comic strip, or a video from the tab in the upper left corner. Choose one of their background pictures, or upload one of your own. Create a title or type part of your message in the Meme text bar. Choose a character or two, add a prop, and select speech bubbles to type a message. Everything is easy to move around by just dragging and dropping. At the bottom of the page, find tools to share and edit your comic. Share via print, download, email, or online. There is no registration required.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), communication (135), creative writing (119), digital storytelling (135), summarizing (18)

In the Classroom

There is a multitude of ways to use comics/cartoons in the classroom. For instance, create one-page discussion starters to help students keep up with current political issues. Use comics to show sequencing of events, for example, explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or current event! When studying about characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use comic strips for literature responses. Another idea - why not use the comics for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and feelings. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialogue strips as an alternative to traditional written assessments; summarize through a comic. Challenge students who move through other assignments more quickly to create a cartoon for review of a topic studied in class. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year using Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator includes features for students to easily create digital books using their own text, videos, and images.

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Printable Comic Strip Templates - Donna Young

Grades
K to 12
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Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any ...more
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Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any template to view and print the PDF version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of what the class just learned. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon depicting the characters and plot. Have students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant, the planets, or a butterfly's life cycle. Use these templates for students to plan out storyboards for more involved projects, such as videos. Alternatively, have students use one of the templates for a rough draft before creating and online comic. In emotional support or autistic support classes, create comics to show how people interact. In world languages or with ENL/ESL students, create comics to reinforce correct language. Looking for even more comic resources? Check out TeachersFirst's complete collection of Comics and Cartoons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh. Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh. Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Scroll down the page to find Comics/Enjoy! Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), humor (16)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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Witty Comics - WittyComics.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two...more
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Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two characters. These are quick and easy three page comics. You can create without an account. However, if you want to SAVE, you must register for a free account (email required).

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), communication (135), summarizing (18)

In the Classroom

Create dialogues that introduce new content topics in your classroom. Students can use this "witty" tool to introduce topics from research or to practice a speech to be given in class. Use comics to create a dialogue discussing misconceptions in the content and a discussion of the actual facts to dispel the misunderstandings. To view more comic creator tools and ideas view this collection. Some suggested comic creators are Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, ToonyTool, reviewed here, Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.

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Stick Figure Hamlet - Dan Carroll

Grades
9 to 12
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or ...more
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or choose any act or scene desired. This site is sure to motivate and interest even the most reluctant reader!

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), hamlet (9), literature (221), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Add Stick Figure Hamlet to your arsenal of tools when reading Shakespeare. Share images from the site throughout your class reading of Hamlet on your interactive whiteboard. Invite students to interpret what is happening in the comics. Challenge students to find omissions in the retelling or to draw their own, better versions. Share the link for students to view at home. The images may be very helpful to visual learners in understanding the content of this work. Browse the TeachersFirst Shakespearean collection for other ideas to use with Hamlet. Use this site as inspiration and have students create their own comics for any piece of literature. Find many ideas at TeachersFirst's Comics Collection.

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Rustle the Leaf - Dan Wright and Dave Ponce

Grades
2 to 8
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Rustle the Leaf is a collection of online comic strips, videos, and more that teach about the environment starring Rustle the Leaf and his friends. Choose from the comic archive ...more
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Rustle the Leaf is a collection of online comic strips, videos, and more that teach about the environment starring Rustle the Leaf and his friends. Choose from the comic archive to view all the comic strips or view short e-movies to learn more about environmental protection. Click "Holiday Plug" to go to their collection of YouTube videos. Many lesson plans are included, ranging from Plastic Poisons to Oceans of Trouble, and, of course several others. Don't let the dates bother you, all the plans are relevant; each plan includes detailed objectives, material lists, lesson methods, worksheets, and other activities.

tag(s): earth day (62), environment (220), globe (12), oceans (135), plastics (4), pollution (47)

In the Classroom

The comics would be great discussion starters at the beginning of the day. Post one on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as students arrive to use as a journal prompt or discussion activity. The resources on Rustle the Leaf are really well done, these can be used throughout the year, monthly, or all together as a focused unit. Challenge students to create their own comics (or videos) to explain an environmental topic using comic-creation tools from this collection.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (47), elections (75), politics (106), presidents (116)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Enhance student learning by challenging them to create their own political comics. Have students create a rough draft of their comic using Canva's Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Then, students can create and share their comics online using a tool like ToonyTools, reviewed here, for a single frame comic, or Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here, for multiple frames.

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Physics Central - American Physical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is proof that science and scientists can really be interesting. Physics Central offers an engaging combination of profiles, "Physics in Action" articles, and online demonstrations...more
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This site is proof that science and scientists can really be interesting. Physics Central offers an engaging combination of profiles, "Physics in Action" articles, and online demonstrations that make physics both interesting and approachable. "Explore the Science" to learn about cutting edge Physics. Use "Experiment" to find great experiments to do at home or in extracurricular groups and even "Physic Buzz." While not written specifically for students, there is much here that science teachers will find useful. Don't miss the Activity Books in "Ask and Experiment" or the comic books entitled "Spectra" at the bottom of the main page!

tag(s): experiments (52), scientists (62)

In the Classroom

Be sure to place a link to this free resource on your teacher page. Use this resource when discussing Physics in the news. Add excitement to your lessons with various demonstrations or bits of information about real Physics studies and cutting edge science. Use the Spectra comic books as a pre-reading assignment for Middle School classes. Ask students to annotate the comic noting questions they have and highlighting important facts using Hypotheis, reviewed here. Compare student notes from the comics before beginning the lesson for the day. Enhance student learning by encouraging students to create comics about other Physics concepts as part of a team effort or an extra credit opportunity. Comics can be drawn conventionally or created using online tools. First, students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Then, students can create and share their comics online using a tool like Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.

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