At our high school we have a few classes of students who still need to pass the TAKS Test. This may be for a variety of reasons, but in many instances, they are second language speakers. I worked with a class of just such students. They recently finished reading Beowulf and the teacher thought it would be engaging for the kids to retell the story in the style of a comic book. There are loads of different comic book apps out there, they used ComicBook!. Take a peek at a a page from two different students’ comics.
Comic book apps are excellent for ELA. As the sample shows, you can use them for retelling stories and novels read in class such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Joyce, Camus, Rowling, etc. They are also great for retelling a historical event, science lab, or math problem. You can use them in the ELL class or a foreign language class. My healthy lifestyles teacher is going to use one for having students demonstrate the journey of the sperm to the egg (I’ll post those in a blog post of their own when they do that assignment next term). Cinema and film classes can use them for storyboarding.
Comic book apps can be used higher on the Bloom’s Taxonomy for things like personalizing, reflecting, creating a role play or creating a cover for a book or event. Students can demonstrate teh consequence of something, be it science or social. Comic books can be used to write a biography. The ideas are endless. It is a great way to create a visual representation of whatever students learn in a way that some kids really relate to.
I say check out comic book apps as a way for student to create great academic works. As I write this, I am not sure ComicBook! is my favorite comic book maker on the iPad. It is a fine app, but I may be more enamored with Strip Designer, or Comic Life. Comic Life is pretty pricy, but for a dollar more than ComicBook!, I think Strip Designer is my fav.