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How to Teach Kids to Write Comic Strips

by Debra Pachucki

In today’s era of televised news broadcasts and electronic articles, the traditional print newspaper -- and its beloved comic section -- is practically a thing of the past. Salvage the golden era of the comic strip by teaching kids how to create their own. This simple craft project will encourage artistic talents and fine motor skills, and children can display the finished products as works of art or create their very own comic strip collection book from their completed projects.

Creating Comic Strips

Help your children prepare a simple storyline by brainstorming characters and events. Ask guiding questions such as, “Will your comic strip feature a hero or a bad guy?,” “Will your hero be a person? An Animal? A Fruit?” and “What is your hero going to do to save the day?”

Take notes on your children’s responses, or encourage older kids to write their responses down in a note pad.

Give children the paper strips once the brainstorming phase is complete, and instruct them to lay it on the work surface horizontally.

Instruct children to draw a horizontal line across the center of the paper with the ruler. Then have children create a six-frame grid by drawing three evenly-spaced vertical lines from the top of the paper down to the bottom.

Instruct children to illustrate the first sequence of their storyline by drawing it in the first frame. Repeat the process, instructing children to illustrate the second sequence in the second frame, the third sequence in the third frame, and so on, until they draw the final sequence in the last frame. Remind school-age children to leave space in each frame for dialogue captions.

Encourage school-age children to add captions and dialogue to the illustrations to incorporate storytelling with words.

Instruct students to enhance their illustrations with color markers.

Items you will need
  • White multi-use paper
  • Pencils
  • Note pads
  • Rulers
  • Color markers

Tips

  • Provide examples of comic strips for children to gain ideas from or use as a guideline.
  • Keep storylines short enough to be told in three frames.
  • Use direct and clear, step-by-step directions to effectively instruct children.
  • Model the activity for kids by creating your own comic strip alongside children.
  • Explain the frames to children prior to the drawing phase so that children can plan how to tell their story within the set number of drawings.
  • Use longer paper strips with additional frames for more complex storylines.
  • Encourage children to decorate comic strips with embellishments such as stickers, glitter or other craft materials.

Warnings

  • Supervise children with pencils, scissors or other sharp objects at all times.
  • Only use age-appropriate art materials and embellishments.

About the Author

Debra Pachucki has been writing in the journalistic, scholastic and educational sectors since 2003. Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. She has worked professionally with children of all ages and is pursuing a second Masters degree in education from Monmouth University.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images