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Storytelling With Comics

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Friday, December 4, 12:00–1:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Danielle Abernethy  
Debbie Bohanan  

Learn how students can use the visual clues of comic scenery, coloring and text-bubble shapes to infer emotions and contexts. Storytelling with visual cues helps students explore creative communication while meeting standards. Bernajean Porter and Disney's storytelling process, along with the Marvel Method, will be explored in the process.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Accounts will be needed. Other accounts will either be given or created at the time. ,Pixton, ToonDoo and Wixie will also be explored.
Topic: Storytelling/multimedia
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Students in Florida and Illinois worked on comics with various tools. The tool was not the important aspect of this training, it is the actual process. Each student had the opportunity to choose the tool that best suited their needs based on availability and skill level.
They all Skyped with Danielle for an introduction of Storytelling with Comics. She introduced inference based on just the imagery of a scene, whiting out the text bubbles so the speech did not give away anything. The students dived into the meaning of color, the use of stark lines versus soft lines and how even the shape of a text bubble can help a reader infer meaning. The students then filled in the text bubbles with their own words, re-writing the comic. From there, all students learned the steps of storytelling and how to tell their story through comics, starting with storyboarding and moving through each step to publishing.
We have seen the students as early as second grade become excited about writing and reading. They are creating weekly comics for their peers on character count words, events in history, science themes and even topics of today that impact the students. The older students are media students who often think of media as only video. Working with print and digital imagery, they are learning how scenery can help convey meaning.
In the workshop, participants will follow the same introduction and go through the process of writing their first and even second comic. The first will be done using a comic (and discussing the fair use of copyright) and then the second will be done by the teachers using a program of their choice.


I. Introduction of the team of presenters
II. The visuals of comics
A. Introduction of Spider-Man Blue (10-15 minutes)
1. Present a background of the story to the point of the panels without text in the speech bubbles.
2. Evaluate how the colors infer the tone of the story and how the visuals help set the timing.
3. Have the participants fill in the speech bubbles with what they think is happening
4. Share and reveal original
B. Explore other samples
III. Introduction of story boarding (20 minutes)
A. Using paper and pencil
B. Using tools such as
C. Participants brainstorm and storyboard their first comic
IV. Introduction of tools that COULD be used. Focus is not on the tools.
1. Toon Doo
2. Wixie
3. Pixton
4. Audience share of other tools.
Each presenter will take a group to work with on their chosen tool to help them develop their comic strip.
V. The other steps of storytelling
1. The steps
2. Revision is important
VI. Presentation
VII. Questions

Supporting research

More [+]


Danielle Abernethy, Private Contractor

Danielle's passion for educational technology began in 1997 when all she had access to was a computer in a closet of the media center with Internet. As a former technology coach, DEN STAR, DEN Leader and member of other educational organizations, she has learned the power of networking. Danielle collaborates with Heather on various classroom activities throughout the year. She has presented at FETC, SCEDTech, GAETC, and ISTE. Danielle is also an executive member of the Digital Storytelling Network of ISTE.

Debbie Bohanan, Zenith Accelerated Learning Academy

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