Dear reader,
Hello, everyone. I want to introduce myself to the group.
I am an author of books that are used in many educational programs to
encourage students to express themselves through writing. I have launched a free new web site -- http://www.makebeliefscomix.com -- where students can create their own comic strips. The site offers fun animal and human characters with different moods, thought and talk balloons to fill in with words, and story prompts. It's a wonderful resource to spur children and adults to write, read and communicate their ideas and to practice English, Spanish and other languages. It is also being used as a tool by educational therapists who work with deaf, learning disabled, and autistic people, as well as trauma victims, to help them understand concepts and communicate. I would be very appreciative if you would share with your members and colleagues, or tell me whom I should contact to share this information. Any list-servs you might suggest would be welcome. I need your help because it takes a community to build a community resource like this.
With thanks,
Bill Zimmerman

Online Educational Comics Launched to Encourage Writing,
Reading and Storytelling in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Latin by Author/Journalist Bill Zimmerman
–- http://www.makebeliefscomix.com

Dear reader,

I want to share with you news of my newest educational project and also ask for your help to make it succeed.

A year ago I launched a new web site -- http:// www.makebeliefscomix.com -- where children and adults can create their own comic strips. They can select from 15 fun characters with different moods -- happy, sad, angry, worried – and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make their characters talk and think. There also are story ideas and prompts to help users create graphic stories.

This site can be used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English-as-a-Second-Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy. It is now being used in 160 countries by educators. Some educational therapists use it with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends and family. Others will find the site a resource to be creative, calm down and have fun.

Because so many Spanish-speaking users asked us for the ability to write their cartoons in Spanish as well as in English, we recently upgraded the site to accept words written in Spanish, including appropriate accent marks. This can be a useful tool for someone who is learning Spanish as well as someone whose first language is Spanish. This feature has also been expanded to other languages, such as French, Italian, German, Latin and Portuguese.

I am hoping that you will share http://www.makebeliefscomix.com with your colleagues, teachers, students or readers of your publications and resource lists. The site is free with no advertising. Any help you might offer in getting word out about this project is very appreciated. If you can suggest other people or groups whom I might contact to make them aware of the site please send me their names, email addresses or phone numbers. Any list-servs I might join? Relevant Internet resource sharing groups would be helpful, too. It takes a community to build a useful resource like this one.

As one who learned to read with comic books, I know that creating comic strips can help people tap into their creativity and practice their language and storytelling skills. The site is free and stems from my lifelong mission to create resources that help people find their voice and express themselves. The concept for makebeliefscomix.com is derived from my earlier books, Make Beliefs and Make Beliefs for Kids of All Ages (which can be found on my other web site: http://www.billztreasurechest.com). A Make Beliefs interactive feature appeared for 13 years on my syndicated Student Briefing Page for Newsday, and in National Geographic’s World Magazine.

I hope you like http://www.makebeliefscomix.com and will use it in your work and personal life. Your feedback is welcome and very helpful.

With thanks and every good wish,

Bill Zimmerman
(wmz@aol.com)

Tags: Comic, Comics, Generators, Online, Strip, Students, for

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I have used comic strips as a way for students to show what they have learned after a unit of study. It is a great way to help students learn how to share their voice and communicate humor through writing. I plan to continue using it and using online comic makers in the future. - Michelle - Third Grade Teacher, Arizona
Bill,

We've been discussing this over at EFL Classroom 2.0 and have a long thread about the uses and many materials. I'll check it out and let you know what I think but if you have the time, please visit us and let members know there. In EFL (English as a foreign language, comics are the ultimate tool for fostering language (because of the visual supports to meaning and the focus on core message.). Our thread is located here....

Thanks,

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com

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