Kids Write Comics-Monologue or Dialogue

Kids write comics to go along with a calendar picture of an animal or animals in this lesson.

kids write comics

A couple of summers ago, I held my first comic writing camp.  I don’t know who had more fun, the campers writing their comics or me reading them!

16 boys, 2 champion girls all ages 4-12 playing the games and writing the laughs. I loved this camp!

Choosing a Picture

For the first day, the campers had to choose an animal picture from a stack of calendar pages.  A calendar page of ANY animal can work for this prompt!  There can be one animal for a monologue, or more than one animal for a dialogue.

Choosing a picture is highly motivating when kids write comics so I always make sure that I have more calendar pages than students.   I don’t want the last student to be “stuck” with the one or two pictures left.  For example, I pick up 3 calendars (36 pictures) for a group of 24 kids.

Creating Humor

When kids write comics, it’s important to take a minute to teach them how to create humor.  This idea is often new to children.  Take a minute to explain that humor is often created by writing something the reader isn’t expecting to read.  For example, in this image:

kids write comics

Saying something like, “It’s cold out here” isn’t very funny because anyone in the snowy picture would feel cold.  I laughed when the student thought to have the two buffalo say:

  1.  “I’m hot.”
  2. “Me too.  Let’s lose some weight.”

Humor is often simple, clever conversation that surprises the reader and so makes the reader laugh.  Encourage your students to write what the reader isn’t expecting them to say.

*This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.*

Clarifying Expectations

What’s nice about this lesson is that you can make it as easy or challenging as you would like for your students.

First, it can be a fun free for all lesson where the students can write whatever they want, however simple or complex.  I have noticed, however, that this makes the lesson extremely short for older students.

Almost every single student I’ve worked with will write very little.  They’ll write one word, one phrase or at most one sentence per speech bubble and be done.

Sentences-Not Just Words

Recently, I began incorporating my differentiated model that I use in all other lessons.  This is the more challenging approach to the lesson.

Kindergartners and 1st Graders are encouraged to write at least one sentence for each animal.  2nd Graders are encouraged to write at least 2 sentences for each animal, 3rd Graders-3, 4th Graders-4 and 5th Graders 5 sentences for each animal.  Essentially, each speech bubble will have 1-5 sentences.

In turn, I found that expecting more from the students actually keeps them engaged longer and creates more clever humor.  Here are two examples, one from a Kindergartner.  The other is from a 5th Grader.

kids write comics
Kindergartner
kids write comics
3rd Grader
small dog with a blue clown wig on his head and covering his eyes
5th Grader

SIDE NOTE:  Reading the comics shows me what my students need work on, whether it be spelling common words, capitalization or punctuation.

Now on how to write a monologue:

  1. On a white piece of paper, write 1-5 sentences to represent the thoughts that the animal may be having.
  2. Cut out the sentences in speech bubble form.
  3. Paste the speech bubble onto the calendar page so that the point of the bubble is near the mouth but not covering the animal.
  4. Place the comic in a plastic sheet protector*.
  5. Have students share their work for good laughs!

Now on how to write a dialogue:

  1. On a white piece of paper write out what each animal might be saying using 1-5 sentences.
  2. Cut out the sentence in speech bubble form.
  3. Paste the speech bubbles onto the calendar page so that the reader will read left to write. Make sure the point of the bubble is near the animal’s mouth but not covering the animal.
  4. Place the comic into a plastic sheet protector*.
  5. Have students share their work for good laughs!

NOTE:  Many Kindergartners write really big.  Their sentence may not fit on the calendar picture.   If that happens, they don’t need to cut out their sentences.  They can simply place their sentences back to back with the calendar picture and into a plastic page protector.

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.

EASY ART ACCENTS

Calendar pictures are the most popular art accents I use.  Kids LOVE to choose a picture to write about.  Read my introductory post about Calendar Pictures to find out where to get them and how to use them.

GAMES TO PLAY!

Exclamations-4-11

Answer. Question-speaking

Answer. Question-writing

Speak a Dialogue-Guess Who!

Words with # of letters (Use comics to look for words to write.)