Activity 6: Making Hero Comic Books
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Construction paper, preferably the large "legal" size, for all participants
- Crayons, color markers, pens and pencils
- Scissors (including left-handed scissors) and a stapler
Preparation for Activity
- Fold each piece of construction paper into three roughly equal, horizontal strips by holding it lengthwise ("landscape" format) and folding one flap down and another up.
- Make a sample comic strip and a sample book for the children to see. Use stick figure characters and minimal detail so that the children see that they do not have to be artistically talented to successfully complete the project.
Description of Activity
Distribute materials to children at work tables. Tell them that they can now make a book or a comic strip about one of the real people whose perseverance they have just heard about.
Show the children the samples you have made. In the comic strip, show them how each of the three panels represents a part of the story you have chosen.
- On the first panel, draw the problem that the person wanted to change. (Examples: Draw a picture of Kaneesha noticing the two separate groups of kids on the playground; Olympia Brown near a sign that says "no voting.")
- On the second panel, draw the person doing something about the problem. (Examples: Show Kaneesha helping an Asian child with homework, Olympia Brown writing letters).
- In the third panel show what changed. (Examples: Show Kaneesha's schoolmates all playing together, Olympia as an old woman voting).
Tell the children they may add balloons to show people speaking, but this is not necessary. This is a completed comic strip once the child has put a title on it.
To make a book, cut the three pages apart so that they are separate. Next you will put another piece of paper the same size as the other three on top of the other to make a cover page with a title. Then staple them together at the top corner or on both left hand corners.
Encourage the children to use stick figures so that the drawings will not take too much time. If they do not finish, invite them to finish them at home. Either way they should take them home to show to their families.
As the children work, ask them to tell why they chose the hero they chose. You may also ask them if there are problems that really concern them, and if they can imagine what action they might take to make change when they are older.
If you have time, add Alternate Activity 2: Whipping Cream. One child at a time can stop work on his/her comic strip or book, and take a turn at manually whipping cream, which requires perseverance and yields a nice reward. At the end of the whipping cream activity there will naturally be a small feast!
Including All Participants
The artistic confidence of children this age can be quite variable, so, encourage everyone to use simple stick figures to show the action and not worry about detailed drawings. If there are children who are not able to draw independently, a co-leader can sit with them and ask for their ideas and draw for them.
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