Free Printables Help Students Write, Read and Tell Stories
by Bill Zimmerman
As an author of interactive books to help young people find their writers' voices, I often am asked by educators and parents for help in reaching reluctant writers. With this goal in mind, I have added more than 100 free PRINTABLES on my online comic strip site, MakeBeliefsComix.com. Now you can print out, at no cost, interactive pages from my comic books to use for writing, reading, drawing and telling stories.
This enhanced MakeBeliefs PRINTABLES feature is the latest addition to the four year-old online educational comics site where educators and students from 180 countries come to build their own comic strips and practice language, writing and reading skills. The new printable pages are taken from my popular Make Beliefs books and drawn by cartoonist Tom Bloom, who illustrated the best-selling Children's Letters to God.
Now, a teacher or parent using the web site will be able to distribute graphic handouts to students in English-as-a-Second Language or literacy programs that ask for written or drawn responses to such imaginative questions as:
- Make believe you possessed a magic flying carpet. Where would your travels take you?
- Make believe you had a net to catch a favorite moment in your life. Which would it be?
- Imagine you could talk to your favorite book character. Who would that be? What would you say?
- Make believe that with the snap of your fingers you could change yourself. How or what would you become?
- Make believe you could create your own set of holidays. What would they celebrate?
For copies of these printables and more go to http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Printables. The feature also offers comix templates using characters from the web site along with blank talk and thought balloons that students can fill with text to create their own comic strips.
Google and UNESCO selected MakeBeliefsComix.com as one of the world's most innovative web sites fostering literacy and reading.
Users of MakeBeliefsComix.com make comics strips by selecting from 20 fun characters with different moods -- happy, sad, angry, worried -- and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make characters talk and think. This site is used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in ESL programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy. Some educational therapists use the online comics with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends.