Over the past years I have used MakeBeliefsComix many times to create cartoons for this blog. The owner of the software, Bill Zimmerman, has kindly allowed me to use his software at no cost, with the simple request that I encourage others to use the product.
A few examples of cartoons that I’ve created are:
A new version of the software, with many exciting addtions, was launched yesterday. Bill writes as follows:
In its goal to provide more literacy resources for educators, MakeBeliefsComix.com has significantly expanded its offering of writing prompt printables, organizing them by subject categories to help students write and express themselves.
The free online comic strip generator now features more than 250 printables in 50 subject categories, ranging from Bullying and Peer Pressure, to Elections and Political, to Environment and Ecology, to Writing Prompts. These are found at: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Printables_Categories/
In addition, MakeBeliefsComix has introduced new comic characters with physical disabilities to reflect the diversity of users, including those with special needs. Among the 128 characters that students can now select in creating their comic strips are a boy and girl in wheelchairs, a soldier who lost an arm in war and wears a prosthesis, a blind person with a seeing-eye dog, and an older woman who uses a walker. Each character shows a variety of emotions – happy, sad, angry, thoughtful. Educational therapists increasingly use the online comic site for students with autism spectrum disorders to help them understand social concepts and to communicate. There is a Special Needs section to help educators and parents.
The 250 graphic writing prompts encourage writing and thinking in a quick and imaginative way and foster classroom discussion . A student’s efforts to complete a printable can then become the first step in writing longer essays, poems or stories on the same subject. The printables also can be used with students enrolled in literacy and English-As-Second Language programs, and provide an educational resource for teaching language arts. They are taken from the many interactive books of the site’s creator, Bill Zimmerman, who for many years edited the nationally syndicated Newsday Student Briefing Page, which was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
More than 200,000 educators and students from more than 180 countries visit MakeBeliefsComix.com each month to build their own comic strips and practice language, writing and reading skills. The site was selected by Google as UNESCO as among the world’s most innovative sites to encourage literacy and writing. And the American Library Association chose it as a Great Web Site for Kids.
We hope that you will share MakeBeliefsComix.com with your colleagues, students, friends or readers of your publications and favorite listserv groups. As always, we welcome your suggestions and ideas to improve our site.
I am proud to be associated with MakeBeliefsComix and will continue to use this tool to get e-learning messages across to the readers of this blog. Have a look at the product … you are sure to find innovative ways in which you can use it for the advancement of education.