A Creative Writing Unit: Comic Books

Writing for the child who hates writing.

Target age: 3rd grade-highschool

I ordered  blank books from amazon, though you  could easily make your own. We pulled out some “how to” drawing books related to superheros, manga, fashion, and fantasy. Each morning we start with a directional drawing exercise from one of the books, then give the kids 30-45 minutes of quiet writing time to write about what they just drew. We have drawn a supergirl, a fashion model, a map of a fantasy realm, a whimsical machine, Superman, and some aliens and rocket ships.

The writing time is mostly brainstorming. Complete sentences and punctuation are not required, though the kids have come up with some amazingly complete stories in the allotted time.

We’ve drawn people, problems and settings out of a hat for flash fiction challenges.

We just started spending a few minutes a day talking about story elements. Yesterday we discussed story arc and sub plots, internal and external conflicts, and how  to “write you protagonist into a tree and throw things at him” before reaching a resolution.

Next week we’ll discuss characterization.

The following week, we will start coming up with story ideas and characters, and doing some outlines. After outlines come story boards, where we will rough sketch and write exactly what goes on each page. This is when we will start looking at punctuation and spelling. Finally, we will take a couple of weeks to draw/write our actual stories.

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