Wondering how to bring comic strips into your next project? Your students can create comic strips in Google Slides. By setting up a template in this popular tool, you can customize a space for students while giving them the flexibility to make the space their own. Comic strips are a fantastic product for student creators in any subject area!
Although I use Google Slides as an example in the blog post, it’s not the only option. You could use a slide-based presentation tool like Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote to accomplish the same goal. Or you could use a tool designed for comic creation like Book Creator.
Choosing a Comic Strips Lesson
If you’ve followed along with the blog for a while (we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of ClassTechTips.com this year!), you’ve probably heard me use the phrase “tasks before apps.” Before diving into the steps for creating a comic strip in Google Slides, a quick reminder about setting an intention.
Your goal for this project might include having students:
- Share a real or imagined narrative
- Bring a math world problem to life
- Spotlight a famous scientist and an important moment in their life
- Summarize the events from a current events article
- You name it!
Part of your preparation for this activity might include sharing an exemplar for this project. This way, students know what direction they’re headed in. This is also an opportunity to share examples of comics in case it’s a medium students haven’t seen before.
Creating a Comic Strips Google Slides Template
You can create comic strips in any shape and size in Google Slides. In the example of this post, I used the dimensions 15 x 10 inches. Once you pick a size, you’ll stick with it for the whole presentation deck.
After choosing your dimensions, you can add shapes to make the comic cells. I decided to create rectangles with a thick border, using the border options at the top of the screen. When students access this template, they can add pictures in each box to create their comic.
For the comic strip captions, add a text box with a background color at the bottom of each frame. Using a background color for this text box is important if you have students add pictures and layer this on top of the image in their comic cell.
Here are a couple of quick tips for comic strips in Google Slides:
- If you or students want to add an image to the background, add your photo, then change the order, so it goes behind your boxes.
- Do your students love to draw? They can draw their comics, upload a picture, and add to their comic strip.
- Students can search for images within Google Slides, but you may encourage them to use a tool with student-friendly pictures or a website that lets them search for Creative Commons licensed photos.
- To add a comic book font to Google Slides, use the Add Font option under the Font dropdown menu. Then search for a comic-friendly font like Comic Neue.
Note: I have a free download for you with 15 ready-to-use comic templates you can grab here.
Sharing comics with students
After you’ve created a template for students that connects to your project or activity, you can share it in a few different ways. For example, you might share the document through Google Classroom so that it automatically makes a copy for your students. Or you might use a forced copy, similar to how I set up this link for you to make a copy of my example from this blog post.
Ready to get started with comics in the classroom? Try these steps to set up comic strips in Google Slides, or download my ready-to-use templates right here.
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