A few years ago I put together a really rudimentary teaching guide to using Comic Life in the classroom. It was thrown together as a series of test lessons but I was asked for a copy and thus made it public.
Last December I have it a little refresh to cover Comic Life 2 although it is still patchy around the corners. The unit covers the idea of visual story telling and communicating a narrative with only 6 photos. You can obviously adjust the rules according to age group, for example you might allow some text direction in the comic frames.
Comic Life is a digital story telling application with a difference. The simple graphical user interface and intuitive drag and drop workflow makes it a perfect tool for classrooms both at primary and secondary level. The Comic Life Application is intuitive and fun to use, it simply removes any ICT barrier and allows pupils to focus on creative communication.
Comic Life is particularly affordable but if you are unsure of its benefits in the classroom situation a trial version is available via the www.plasq.com website.
I first devised this short unit for use with the original version of Comic Life and keystage 3 level students.
To build in a slightly deeper ICT dimension I only allowed photos to be taken with a mobile device that offered bluetooth file transfer (sadly not an iPhone). The students would take the photos, bluetooth them across to the Mac, create the comic and bluetooth the final document to their friends.
The workflow from mobile phone photos to Comic Life and then back to the phone demonstrates just how possible a paperless classroom could be and how much students enjoy capturing and processing images from mobile devices. Zero paper, maximum fun.
In small groups pupils will write and communicate a story using only eight photos and the Comic Life Application. For older students you may want to limit the number of photos to six and if you really want to challenge the students then you could forbid them using any text in their story.
- On successful completion of this task pupils will be able to use bluetooth to transfer files to and from am computer.
- On successful completion of the task pupils will be able use photos taken with a mobile phone in their own documents / coursework etc.
- On successful completion of the task pupils will be able to manipulate / resize and filter their photographs.
- On successful completion of the task pupils will be able to use suitable software applications to communicate in a range of different ways.
The transferable skills covered in the unit include : Working with others, Organising oneself, Communication, Critical and discriminating skills, Reflection and decision making skills.
The zip file contains a PDF of the document as well an ePub version ready for your favourite ebook reader. The ePub version has been tested in iBooks and works pretty well.
Please do not redistribute the ebook or link to the file directly. Do though, feel free to link to this page and spread the word. Any comments? please post them below.