This high school English class from Vero Beach, Florida provides some great examples of how Bitstrips for Schools can be used to teach sophisticated concepts to advanced students.
Tell us about your students’ reactions to Bitstrips for Schools.
They were really excited to do something totally different as an assessment. We do a lot of analytical writing, so it was a nice change of pace.
Your students have made tons of Bitstrips! What kind of things have they been about?
There were two separate assignments. One was during our Persepolis unit. Persepolis is a graphic novel memoir, and I wanted the students to internalize visual syntax and semantics by seeing how hard it is to create tone with images. They were asked to create an autobiographical strip. The other assignment was during a Jane Austen unit in which students were asked to depict a scene from the book.
What advice do you have for other high school teachers who are thinking about using Bitstrips for Schools?
Think about their avatars. I didn’t specify that my students look like themselves in the virtual classroom, and I was very surprised at the very creative ways they expressed themselves as avatars. Learn the software so that your expectations are reasonable. I did a strip myself as an example for my students.
Did you learn anything new about your students through their comics?
I learned LOTS about my students in the autobiographical assignment. We had some very interesting class discussions based on some of what we learned.
How has Bitstrips for Schools helped you teach?
The Language Curriculum now incorporates visual literacy. I can’t think of a better tool for exploring that.
What advice do you have for other teachers on getting the most out of Bitstrips for Schools?
Be clear in your expectations. Students seem to be more comfortable with stricter guidelines: number of frames, content, etc…
You’ve sent us some examples of your students’ work. What can you tell us about these strips and the students who made them?
It’s really tough to choose which ones to share! Our unit about the book Persepolis generated some very interesting discussions about identity. One of my students Linh did a strip about the struggle with identity he went through as an American boy growing up in his Vietnamese household.
The Jane Austen assignment generated some interesting versions of scenes in the book. Eric W’s strip was simple, but it conveyed quite a lot about the characters.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks for a great website!