Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Comics and Script Writing

As an unashamed geek, I am often trying to bring gaming, comics and other things I love into the classroom. In a recent literacy lesson for script writing, I decided I could make use of a page from a comic. 
I chose a suitable comic page: one with a range of speech bubbles from two or three different characters, with some action and with some sidebars which explained the action. I also made sure that there was not too much violence on the page. 
I adapted the comic page so that none of the dialogue was able to be seen and then projected the page using  Smart Notebook. I took children through the different elements of the comic page and we did some shared writing as a class using the empty speech bubbles, obviously focusing on dialogue. Children were able to come straight up to the board and write dialogue into the speech bubbles. The nature of the comic page meant that children were straight into using question marks and exclamation marks. 
The next step was to look at the pictures and identify verbs, adverbs and adverbial phrases which you might use to describe the action. As the comic page was action packed it was not only easy for the class to develop ideas but also extend far beyond the usual 'slowly'. We had heroes 'leaping' and 'villains 'glancing anxiously'.
After this we were able to take the dialogue from the speech bubbles we had written and the word bank we had created to create an actual script of the action. In order to develop stage directions, we used the pictures themselves and the sidebars from the comic. The children were able to see the link between the dialogue and the features of the script were easy to explain in practical terms. 
The final step was for the children to write their own dialogue. For my less able children and those who struggle to come up with ideas, I gave them the option of using the comic page with some or all of the dialogue in place and converting this into script form. Everyone in the class was able to take part and create interesting dialogue using a range of adverbs. 
This was an exceedingly engaging activity. The children were all motivated by it with almost everyone in the class completing a page of script from the comic. 

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