Comics: Now that I’ve pinned them, what do I do with them?


In the year or so that I’ve been active on Pinterest, I’ve collected quite a few French comics on various subjects.  Although I’ve dutifully pinned each one to the appropriately-themed board, I was never quite sure what to do with them. On a few occasions I tried projecting the comics on the screen and asking the students what they thought they meant, but that was as far as I got.

This summer I took a little bit of time to compile some of the comics I’d pinned about school for my first French 3 unit of the year.  I pasted each one onto a document and added a few target language questions to spark discussion. I included questions that were related to the comic, as well as personalized questions on the same theme.  I tried to anticipate what vocabulary the students might need, and included a couple of key words for each image.

I’m going to try using these comics as a “hook” at the beginning of each class during this unit.  I’ll project a slide of the comic at the beginning of the period, and give the students a few minutes to discuss the questions in French with a partner. As they’re discussing, I’ll circulate and give feedback/formative assessment to a few of the dyads. Then I’ll select a couple of students to present their responses to the whole class. I’ll also give these students feedback/formative assessment.  In this way, all of the students will begin the period with 5-10 minutes of interpersonal communication and I will have had a chance to provide individualized feedback to everyone after a few class periods.

While I intend to use these comics as a springboard to spoken production, I could also have the students respond to the questions in writing.  This would be an effective way to ensure that I had a few minutes to take attendance, conference with absent students, etc. at the beginning of class.  I would then provide feedback to using a written/presentational rubric.

Here’s the document I put together with the comics and questions about school for my French 3 students: french3unit1comics

Do you use comics in your teaching?  How do you incorporate them into your lessons?

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