Provide the beginning and end of a story, and have your students fill in the middle!
This is a simple activity you can hand out to your class to fill some creative writing time. Or, if you want more structure, you can also adapt this comics activity and use it to teach creative writing concepts like:
The easiest way to use this activity is to just hand out printouts and ask kids to fill in the middle of the story.
Students may have already learned how to identify parts of a story in chronological order as the beginning, middle, and end.
This lesson gets them to practice doing this in a visual format. It's great for teaching comics literacy, and visual literacy in general!
Note: If you aren't physically getting kids to come up to the board and rearrange the panels, it's best to put a marker of some sort on each panel. (like a coloured dot, or a letter in the corner) This way, students can easily say which panel they want you to move. ("Yellow" or "B" instead of "the one where the man is standing with all the cats...")
Here's a filled-out comic example you can print out and use. You could also discuss with your students what context clues they see in the comic that helps them identify the correct order of events.
Get students to draw their own comics, then photocopy their comics, cut out each panel, and scramble up the order.
See if their classmates can put the comics back in the correct order!
(This works best when all the panels are the same size and shape)
You could also use this lesson plan to teach epanalepsis (term borrowed from the Comic Devices Library).
Epanalepsis is a technique where you repeat an identical (or nearly identical) phrase at the beginning and end of a phrase or passage.
It may be helpful to first talk to your students about how epanalepsis can be used to emphasis a point. You can also demo working backwards from the ending to plot the middle.
Try using this one with your students.
Here's what one of my students came up with!
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Fonts used in header images: Goldie Boxing. Fonts used in comics: Inkslinger Blambot.
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