What’s Toondoo?

It is a comic strip maker, with plenty of choices for characters and background.
Toondo is an online tool in which you can create text and image-based comics in an easy way. There is a variety of options that allow you to choose different layouts, backgrounds, characters and icons. You can also add dialogue and narration to your comics and you can even create your own characters. As O’Sullivan says of Web 2.0 tools, as soon as the work is done the students get an embed code which can be pasted in the classroom blog.
Comics are a great for using in the language classroom with primary and secondary school students and even adults; as Nicky Hockly puts it, “ comics are a fun, creative and engaging way to get students reading, listening and writing in the foreign language.”

This tool has been designed for their users to become creators and distributors of content. This complies with the dimension of “creativity and innovation” identified as part of the Digital Competence Framework developed as part of PLANIED.
Students engage in content creation and take an active part in the learning experience. As Godwin-Jones(2007) states, Web 2.0 is “essentially a transition from online consumer to consumer/producer/participant.”

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As creators, students take in more responsibility for their outcomes and a sense of ownership, being aware that they will share them with a wider audience. As Thomas Raith said, students become more motivated for writing when they perceive a real audience and they strive harder to present and express themselves clearly.


References:
  • Strum, M., Kennell, T., Mc Bride, R., & Kelley, M. (2010). 20. In Handbook of research on Web 2.0 and second language learning, Thomas, M. (2010). Hershey: Information Science Reference.
  • Swain, Ed in Smart Teaching: a Transformational Approach (Swain, Ed., 2010)
  • Raith, T (2010) in Handbook Of Research On Web 2 0 And Second Language Learning .



Sample
Monster problem

How to use it


To do an activity using Toondoo, see below:

ACTIVITY USING Toondoo
toondoo_logo.jpg
TOPIC: Halloween stories

LEVEL: Pre-Intermediate

AGE: 11 +

EVALUATION CRITERIA: The students will be asked to write out a story with Halloween theme as background. As the students have been working on spooky stories, here they have the opportunity to apply the vocabulary they study in class. They will be evaluated on their use of language (accuracy), and the development of the story. The mastery of the tool will also be evaluated.

INSTRUCTIONS: Think of a plot for a spooky story with Halloween theme as background. You will have to go to Toondoo website and create a comic strip in at least 3 frames.

Steps to follow:
1) Go to ToonDoo website
2) Sign up with your email account
3) Log in and click on “create”
4) Select the number of frames (rememeber at least 3)
5) Select the background
6) Select the characters
7) Write the speech bubbles (dialogue)
8) Once you have finished, click on “save” (you may publish it or not)
9) Print it and email it to the teacher.

Lesson Plan using Toondo

Class: seventh grade
Time: 80 minutes
The students have been already working with some funny comic strips the T has provided. They have pointed out the different shapes of the speech bubbles and how action is shown. They have analysed how we can add a humour element by saying something which means something different or which doesn’t coincide with what we can see or by contradicting what one would expect. The purpose of this class is to reflect on the language and format of text used in the comics.


Warmer (10 minutes)
Students will get into pairs and they will think of possible funny characters they would include in a comic, how their personalities would be and what could make them funny. Each pair will share their ideas with the class and T will write some on the blackboard as a reminder that could be used later for students that need inspiration. Some expected personality traits would be: funny, clumsy, too serious, etc.


Web (50 minutes)
During this stage the students will work in pairs in front of the computer. They will read two Garfield’s comics online while they complete a Word form with questions for them to reflect on the language of the comics. When students finish they will save the Form so that the teacher can take a look at it later.
my screenshot of word.jpg
screenshot word form.jpg




Comic 1

Garfield1.jpg
Comic 2

Garfield2.jpg

T will remind students that they can revisit the tutorial before or while they create the comic. T will show the students the sample and the evaluation rubric so that they have it in mind while working on the comic. T will ask students to choose 3 characters which have the characteristics and personality mentioned during the warmer. For example, students may choose a character having a serious personality in mind thus reflecting this into his or her face. They will be able to choose between the animal characters, the kids characters or the bear characters.

After that, T will give students two options for the background. They will be able to choose either the space backgrounds or the outdoors backgrounds.


T will ask the students to:

  • use the present simple and continuous throughout the dialogue.
  • use two different types of speech bubbles ( for example for dialogues and for thinking).
  • make at least 6 frames.
  • write at least two short sentences for frame.
  • use of one colloquial term or item of informal language.
  • include at least 3 sentences in interrogative form.
  • include a joke/ funny element/ something that challenges the reader’s expectations .


Now students are ready to enter Toondo and make their own comic.



What next (20 minutes)

T will project all the comics that have been created and each pair will read their production for the others (T will encourage them to make different voices for different characters). T will ask the other students to identify the features of oral language that their partners such as informal language and omissions of subject. T will also invite students to say if they find a funny element in the comic and in that case, she will ask what makes the comic funny.





Reference:
Storm, L (n.d.) ReadWriteThink. Retrieved from
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/comics-classroom-introduction-genre-188.html?tab=4#tabs




By: María de las Mercedes Barrios (INSPT-UTN, 2013) and Camila Quaranta (INPT-UTN, 2017)