Teacher Review for Bitstrips for Schools

Encouraging students to use their voice via comics

Amy B.
Classroom teacher
Schurz High School
Chicago, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
Students can use this application to fill in dialog for different cartoon characters, giving them a fun way to practice language structure and vocab in a meaningful and creative way. I also have my students use Bitstrips to express their own thoughts and opinions, by asking them to create autobiographical comic strips - it's easy for them to personalize their characters and create a character that looks like themselves! In the target language, I'll ask them to talk about themselves and their lives. This is a good way to encourage quieter students to talk about themselves - and the kids enjoy reading each other's autobiographic comics. I also use Bitstrips practice new vocabulary words and grammar sets in the target language: they are periodically required, in small groups, to create a comic that utilizes a vocab set. I find that having students fill in conversation balloons for different cartoon characters also helps students practice conversation and language structure in a meaningful context.
My Take
Here's a way to encourage students to express themselves in the world language classroom via their creativity. Bitstrips is quite popular on facebook now, so the kids are excited to use it. They can work on their own or in pairs You can easily assign a comic-creating activity and no one needs to be an artist! This site is a basic way to introduce your students to creative writing in the target language. While students in Level 1 or 2 might not be able to write an essay in the target language, they will be able to write a short comic strip implementing target grammar and vocab. This tool gives them a chance to be creative while also reinforcing skills via the creation of creative comic conversation.