Integrating Comics to Support Literacy

Comics can be also be used to reinforce story structure (beginning, middle, end), paraphrasing skills, development of a plot, characterization skills, dialogue skills, and spelling. Barbara Sakamoto taught her learners the parts of a story, then gave them the task to create a story with a beginning, middle, and end in a specified number of frames. View her slide presentation to see the lesson. 

Other ways in which teachers can use comics to improve literacy include getting their students to create comics to:

  • explore the meaning behind jokes

  • recreate a moment in history or to summarize a chapter

  • illustrate the class rules

  • explore different definitions of words - homonyns, synonyms etc. (male/mail

  • look at the examples in, then learners create their own how-to comic explaining the steps to do something. A student might explain the steps to fixing a bike or the instructions for making ice cream

  • summarize a debate

  • create the news or share a news event

  • recreate history. Students explore what would occur if an important event like Emancipation Proclamation did not occur

  • create an anti-bullying campaign

  • present an interview conducted

  • tell the adventures of a made up hero

  • present their opinions or stance on a tough issue like immigration

More activities are listed in this slide presentation, Tap into the World of Comics (Hendy, 2010).