I love any kind of story, and I enjoy using stories in my classroom. This year I wanted to move the storytelling responsibility to my students. One of my homework options is for kids to create a cartoon using the lesson’s vocabulary. They can use an online site like Goanimate or they can draw it on unlined paper. Initially I only had a couple of students who would turn these in, but the more we use cartoons in class, the more students are doing as a homework option.
As cute as the Goanimate cartoons turn out, my favorite are still the paper ones. I find they are very versatile. My favorite way to use them is for partner storytelling. I will set the timer to 5-8 minutes and have partners take turns narrating the events in the cartoon. Sometimes, I will turn that activity into an assessment by having them call into GoogleVoice after a quick run through with their peer, and re-tell the story individually. Sometimes I will use the cartoons to practice asking and answering questions. For our semester exam this year, I used different cartoons as writing prompts for the written preterit vs imperfect assessment.
I have purchased several storytelling cartoon books, but none have been as effective as what my students are producing. The vocabulary in their cartoons is specific to what they have learned or are currently learning, and even the kids who draw stick figures come up with some creative stories that are perfect to use in a partner conversation. The students who are drawing the cartoons are also reinforcing their vocabulary knowledge. Many label items or provide a basic dialogue in the target language. My students like seeing their cartoon used in class, and their classmates provide an authentic audience for their drawing & storytelling.
Here are a couple of examples:
Paige W - Realidades 2 6A: Sporting event vocabulary