Phys Ed, Comics and the Classroom

Now I must admit I’ve been a little slow on the uptake around exploring some of the nifty comic book creation tools online, but I’ve finally done it and thankfully I did. These tools are simply excellent and allow simple and highly effective creation of comic strips in a snap. 

After familiarising myself with the ins and outs of a few of the tools I decided I would use them to make an alternative assignment criteria sheet for my senior outdoor education class. As some of you may have experienced these sheets can be often overlooked by the students. So why not whip up your instructions in comic book form?. The kids certainly read it before launching into the assignment which is indeed a positive. You can download the worksheet I used yesterday. PAGE 1  PAGE 2

The next idea I had was to use comics as a way to do sports technique analysis within my PE classes. In a variety of my subjects we have a theoretical coaching component that requires students to analyse their own techniques, looking for room for improvement based on a number of biomechanical principles. The very nature of comics lends themselves really well to an analysis activity, as each frame can represent a key aspect of the technique and include important annotations. (See the example below) Some of the other ideas Ive had include

  • As an alternative to a report on an extra curriculular activity or as a unique addition to a school newsletter. 
  • Character development within a novel
  • Movie quote analysis for film studies?
  • For any activity that has a process, ie Home Economics/Science
  • ….the potential uses are endless…

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So if you havn’t considered comic book creation within your subject area, I strongly urge you to check out the following comic book creation tools and include it in your next class. 

www.comiclife.com – This is the premier comic creation tool, although the ownly downside is it isnt free but can be purchased very cheap (just bought a 50 seat license).  However it comes with a free 30 day full working trial that may suit your intended use.

www.toondoo.com – A very good online alternative to comic life

www.comiqs.com

http://pixton.com/uk/

www.goanimate.com

http://www.stripcreator.com/

If you have any ideas on how comics could be used in the classroom, please drop them in the comments box below. Enjoy!

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