Today I discovered a great little site, MakeBeliefsComix, with a comic strip generator created by author Bill Zimmerman. I followed a fairly simple process that involved adding art work and dialogue to three frames. Tom Bloom has made some different characters for the site, with changeable emotions, and all you do is click on a frame, then click the character you want. Once you've done that, add some dialogue in speech bubbles, and perhaps a panel prompt, and you're all set to move onto the next part of your story.
This would make a simple way to show kids that a story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. I think it would be a nice application to use in an ESL classroom, or situations where students are practising using another language. The site supports English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portugese and Latin. I found the creative process easy, and I think kids would too. You can print or email your comic, or use a screen grab to store it digitally.
Bill has another site called Bill'z Treasure Chest which offers further opportunities for kids' writing. I liked the printable writing prompts on the Let's Make Believe page, and the Family Fun Activities page which discusses how to go about recording an oral family history.
Don't you just love these online sites that allow kids to freely create and publish their own writing, and have some fun at the same time!
The comic above was created at MakeBeliefsComix. Go there to make your own.