We're retiring teacher-created lesson plans in September 2021. Please save copies for your records. Common Sense digital citizenship lessons are here to stay.
Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Comic Strip Writing

Students will be using “Make Beliefs Comix”, an interactive website to create comic strips. The comic will incorporate learned vocabulary and the five elements of a story.
Heather M.
Early childhood education provider
Accident Elementary
Accident, United States
Show More
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to....

  • Brainstorm and organize ideas for a creative writing piece
  •  Incorporate new vocabulary into their comic strips
  • Use an online comic creator to write an original narrative 
  •  Identify the elements of a story (plot, characters, setting, and theme) 
English Language Arts
Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


Activity: Exploring

Inform students that they will be creating original comic strips online. Display various comic books and newspaper comics. Give students ample time to read and explore the comics. Afterwards, conduct a discussion about the purpose and value of comic strips. Ask students:

  • Why do people read comic strips?
  • What do you enjoy about comics? 
  • How are feelings conveyed in comic strips?
  • How are books and comic the same? How are they different?
  • How can reading and writing comic strips help strengthen your vocabulary?
  • Inform students that just like books, comics also contain the five elements of a story elements (plot, characters, conflict, setting, and theme). Have student group together and choose a comic. Together students will idenifty the five story elements of a story within their choosen comic to share with the class.
Student Instructions

Students will explore a variety of comic books and newspaper comics.  

Students will then work in groups to identify the five elements of a story. Afterwards, the groups will share their findings with the class.


Handout the "Alien" themed template from the printables category of the Make Beliefs Comix website. Have students read the writing prompt and then finish the comic by filling in the blank talk bubbles. Afterwards, have a few volunteers share their finished product with the class. As a class, students will then identify the five story elements of the story.

Introduce Make Beliefs Comix website on the Smartboard. Tell students that they will be using the applications on this website to create their own comics strips using their vocabulary words. On the Smartboard, the teacher will display an example comic of hercreation to serve as an example.

Review the vocabulary your class has been learning to ensure that students understand the meanings of the words, what part of speech each word is, and how each word can be used. Have students select five vocabulary words to incorporate into their comic strips. Having students fill in talk or thought balloons for different cartoon characters helps students practice conversation and language structure in a meaningful context. They must include the five pre-selected new vocabulary words and use the correct word form of each. Tell students that their comic strips must also include the five elements of a story (plot, characters, conflict, setting, and theme). 

Next, display Make Beliefs Comix's "Story Ideas" on the Smartboard. Tell students to choose the theme or topic from the website or come up with their own theme for their comic strip. Handout a four block comic strip template and have students draft their comic.

Student Instructions

Students will identify the five elements of a story. Students will use a writing prompt to fill in talk bubbles to an Alien themed mini comic.

Students will brainstorm and plan for their comic, using a four block strip comic outline.  Students will choose a theme. Students will create a plot, characters, conflict, and a setting . Students will select five vocabulary words to incorporate into their comic. 


Direct students to a computer. 

Student Instructions

Watch the Make Beliefs Comix tutorial


Have students access the website.  Let students "play" for about l5 minutes. Giving them ample time to explore the writing window, the characters, the emotions, the panel choices, balloons, colors, and prompts.

Once students have become familiar with the features, ask them to write their first comic strip. 

Student Instructions

Access the website. Explore the Make Beliefs Comix website.  Students will use their story outline to create their comic strip. Students will then print out their final product.


Activity: Reading

The teacher may choose from the following:

Have a "Comix Celebration" and post all of the strips that the students have written to celebrate their writing progress. 

Have students work in groups to create a vocabulary comic books based on the strips that the students complete.Student will print and color their comic strips. Next, let the students serialize their comics to form a book.

If possible, have students publish their comics in the school newspaper.

Have students work in groups and assume the roles of the characters with in each of their comics. Encourage them to take on the characters personality and voice.

Student Instructions

Students will read and discuss all of their classmates' comic strips.