Building confidence, artistic self-expression, imagination boost, thought clarification, empathy and communication skills, better mental, emotional and physical health are some of the aspects that should be improved or developed at sudents after a long time of being engaged in oline classes.
They need to make themselves seen and heard, that’s why they need teachers’ help and support and teachers coming up with iteractive activities designed to accomplish their expectations.
Creative writing exercises can provide these perspectives, especially in a system that’s shifting towards standardized tests and data-driven work.
What never fails when we want to change the typical flow of the classes is using Comics. It is suitable for students of an intermediate level as the objective is to use comics to foster creative writing and vocabulary skills. Besides will, good mood and enthusiasm, they also need newspapers and construction paper.
The teacher asks students to name their favourite comic strips and describe what they like best about the characters in the strips. He/she tells students what his/her favourites are and explain that the „bubbles” in comic strips take the place of quotation marks. Using a comic strip from the newspaper, students try to write out dialogues in standard form, using quotation marks and phrases of attribution. It is a group activity. The teacher has students create their own character to be introduced as a newcomer to their favourite comic strip.
For example, they might develop a new kid in the „Peanuts” gang or a new pet in Garfield’s house. Then each student draws a picture of the new character and writes a description of the character’s personality. Next, students draw their own three-frame comic strip, using both new and regular characters. They should write the dialogue in bubbles above the characters’ heads. A good idea is to compile all the finished strips together for a class ”funny pages”.
Comics often contain unfamiliar words. Weekly vocabulary lists will be a lot more fun when students develop their own lists of new words, using comic strips as sources (serial and adventure strips are especially good for this activity.) Each week teachers should have students find five new words in the comics to write down and define. To underline the importance of using words in context, students should cut and paste the strips next to the words they have selected.
It is very important for them to spend a class period sharing the stories and let their stream of consciousness flow.