Friday, June 17, 2011

Comic Strips in the Classroom

For a recent school assignment, I took Garfield comics like the one below:

(Pls don't sue JD - It is because I enjoyed your work so much growing up that I use it now for educational purposes)

I digitally removed the speech bubbles and then photocopied them for my classes and told them to fill in the blanks with anything they liked. The students took that visual stimulus and came up with some very interesting and varied narratives...

Garfield cavalierly comments upon Jon's creeping insanity

Jon's callous unconcern for Garfield's well-being

A reversal of Garfield's defining character trait or a medical problem?

Fashion statement

It was all a hallucination!!!

Before I presented this lesson, I was told by teachers that it might not work because students are not used to writing completely original sentences. I was a little worried about it too, but in the end the students excelled at this project. The idea for it came from the webcomic Hark, A Vagrant. A friend of the author did something very similar. I think this is the sort of creative activity that is very useful for classes with several students that have very different levels of English ability. 

In the same vein of absurdist Garfield humor, I would also recommend Garfield Minus Garfield


  1. One of my brother's fiancee's students once drew their own Garfield comic. It had a picture of Garfield saying "I eated your dusagna."

  2. This rules! Seems like the balloon animal and boxers didn't get much attention.

  3. Yeah I don't think balloon animals are a very common sight around here. The kids just thought it was a weird hat. Also, I suspect the boxers didn't get much attention because Americans have a reputation here for wearing weird pants (because of the tourist hippy look).