I decided to create another quick “The Best…” list today rating sites that allow you to create online comic strips.
These can be excellent opportunities for English Language Learners to be able to focus more time on developing language, writing, and storytelling skills instead of having to focus on creating drawings. Of course, I’m not denigrating the role of art in the classroom. It’s just that there are a number of online sites that make that part easier, and might make both writing and reading a little more engaging and attractive.
I’m differentiating “comic strips” from cartoons. There are many sites that let you add speech balloons to single images off the Web. You can find links to several of them at The Best Sites For Online Photo-Editing & Photo Effects.
The sites here let you tell a story in several frames.
I’d say my favorites is Make Beliefs Comix
Make Beliefs is a fairly well-known site that has a variety of characters that can be used in pre-made templates. It’s already popular in schools — both in mainstream and ESL/EFL classes.
Pixton, a newer site that, if you make a series of comic strips, lets you put them into a virtual “book.” It also seems to have a very overt and pro-active (at least it says it does) policy on ensuring that only appropriate content remains on the site.
20+ Tips and Resources to Engage Learners with Comics is from Shelly Terrell.
Using cartoons and comic strips is from The British Council.
After quickly registering, Marvel Comics lets you create your own comic that you can print, send, or embed.
Richard Byrne just posted about a new free and easy tool for creating a free comic – without having to even register. Read Richard’s post and check out ToonyTool.
Culture Street lets you make and save comic strips online.
You can create comics with Canva.
I like this idea for ELLs:
Another fresh batch of activities is up at my site:https://t.co/elSYH2RkBR
These are “Finish the Comic!” Comics, in which kids are tasked with using inferencing skills and their imaginations to complete incomplete comics.
I plan to post more new activities every day or two. pic.twitter.com/e1egXv4tSY
— Jarrett Lerner (@Jarrett_Lerner) March 15, 2020
Create Your Own Digital Comics Whether You Can Draw or Not is from The NY Times.
Google Drawings also lets you collaborate on comics.
Canva now has comic strip templates.
lywi looks like a pretty easy comic strip creator.
Easy Online Comics for ELT is from TESOL.
Useful resource: Comics Uniting Nations is from ELT Planning.
Comical is an AI tool that will create comic strips. You have to request an invitation before using it now. I did, and liked it a lot. Depending on its cost and availability, I think it would have a lot of potential for classroom use.
As always, feedback is welcome.
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This is a great list, and I use comics with my students all the time now. It’s a different way to get at learning. I recognize a few on your list, but not all. So, once again, you have given me things to think about.
Good stuff as always. I just wanted to point out that i found an inappropriate picture with Bubblr pretty quickly. A search on the keyword sex and the first pic was a naked woman. Just thought I’d let you know.
My favourite is ToonDoo from your list. It seems really kid friendly and relatively easy to use. They are proposing to simplify the interface, for example it doesn’t tell you easily how to make a book, but it can be done. Create a cartoon book
I also like Comic Creator on Read Write and Think for your first category. http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/
Thank you for all you do for the community of English language learners and teachers.
Had a lot of problems with Comiqs on a recent assignment for preservice teachers. Crashes, work not saved, computer lockups.
Pixton worked well, though.
Thanks for the great lists! I love using comic strips with students. I appreciate the categorization and explanation of each one as well.
Toonlet does not seem to be kid friendly. There are swear words in the comic being showcased on the front page right now (not sure if it’s dynamically updated).
Thanks for the list. Very helpful.
Very nice list, I tried each one of them on you suggestion. I was looking for something not necessarily kid friendly but rather social friendly, I mean no swear words or obscenity, but it should sustain interest of young teens and get them engaged in political satire cartoons etc etc. Pixton was my favorite in your list, it has the ability to adjust each character. But I found http://www.debate365.com to be more, modern and facebook ready.
Great post! I’m having a lot of trouble trying to find the Dilbert comic strip generator on their site. I registered, but still can’t find the option to change the comic’s dialogue anywhere. How can I access that? Thank you!
It looks like they eliminated that feature. I’ve also taken this opportunity to update the entire list.