I have used Storyboards as a successful strategy to help students to plan, design & imagine their digital creations (games, digital stories and movies). Comic strips are similar; I use comic strips here specifically as an after reading activity.
Today I decided to implement a Tactical Teaching strategy for ‘After Reading’ called Transformations. The word “transformations” is not new in teaching, it’s basically a way for students to present ideas/content in their own way. I think the word transformation aligns closely to the concepts of creativity and critical thinking. A simple example of this is when I ask students to design and create their own websites and then to reflect on this process through a blog post. Students then Comment & Reply to each other and this highlights to students the differences in experience and perceptions of different people (students).
Tactical Teaching: Reading – creating a Comic Strip after reading
- In a Year 11 Business Management class today we first played a terminology – definition game as a warm up exercise.
- In a whole-class discussion we talked about the term Outsourcing and students got a chance to think about what they already know (prior-knowledge).
- I did a short direct instruction on Outsourcing using my teaching website as a visual guide (aligned to a flipped-classroom strategy).
- Students then read the article: “Software developer busted for outsourcing own job to China“
- I asked students to create a Comic Strip representing what they had read.
Reflection on using Comic Strips for an After Reading strategy:
At first most students were surprised that I expected them to draw a comic strip (we’ve recently created dice and made origami so they shouldn’t have been surprised!). Some students did not like the idea at all and preferred to discuss what others should draw. After a few minutes about eight students (one-third of the class) were keenly designing their comic strips and the rest of the class were either helping or discussing what others were drawing.
Some students created comic strips that were very similar to the story in the article and some were generalised interpretations of Outsourcing. One quiet student created a comic strip about outsourcing fertility because she saw a funny connection between labour outsourcing and a woman being in labour; I thought this was quite a brilliant example of Outsourcing.
I would do this again but I would allow more time for students to view each other’s comic strips. Time could be devoted to making links to the transformed ideas that students develop and the original reading task.