Writing has never been easy, particularly in a foreign language. They find it difficult and boring. Therefore, why not to ask students to share their own stories through comics and make a class books with their comics, instead of asking them to write boring summaries? Getting students to write personal stories, anecdotes, creative stories or adapt fairy tales to modern times motivates them to make an effort to use English. Writing stories and comics is a great way to reinforce grammar and vocabulary.
Some appealing tools to enrich your writing classes are:
FODEY which allows to create your own newspaper, or a comic with talking tomatoes, squirrels, flowers, cats or owls. You can add your own text like this:
It is very easy, you only need to write your text in the box provided in the site and your students can use it for expressing their opinions, creating a short story or posting the images in the blogs they have created.
One of my ESL printables colleages , Kriszti, has shared another new useful tool to create comic strips called Strip Generator which is also very easy to use. There are some characters, beings, objects, shapes and bubbles you can choose.
I also recommend you Make Beliefs Comix. However, my favourite one is Comeeko because it allows you to be more creative, to upload your own pictures and add effects. You have to register but it worths doing it!!
The last one I have discovered is Toondoo , a social networking comic strip, which lets you create your own 1, 2, 3 panel cartoons, choose backgrounds, characters, add text bubbles, read comics made by people from all over the world or even create a "book" to make a bigger comic. Besides, your students can share their strips or just to keep them private. In the following slideshare you will learn how it works:
Other great sites for creating comics are Gardfield's Comic Creator or if your students are fans of the famous science fiction TV programme Doctor Who, they can also create their own comics with this comic maker. Pikikids is another site to create comic strips which allows to embed the comics you create into a blog or website.