Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

I am teaching a high school art class on cartooning. I need a sample script that would be pretty simple for these kids to draw. They aren't very talented. This is a public school, so it would need to be ok for use there.

I think I'm going to start by having them redraw some 1940s Superman comics I have.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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Well, I’m not an art teacher but I have 35 years’ experience teaching public high school students.    A few questions for you:

Is this a short 1-3week unit or are you teaching cartooning until June?  Do you have state or district standards to answer to? How supportive is your school administrator, and what are their expectations? And most importantly, what are your maximum dreams and minimum goals that you want to achieve with this class??  

I am a first year art teacher. The class is cartooning. Technically, there are no standards. Administration is pretty supportive. I would love to have them produce an actual comic book by the end of May.
These are not the most talented kids. Some have a little art experience, but not tons. It is an elective class. Some are in there just because they need an elective credit. Some asked for the class.

I have found some universal truths about most high school students:

1) They cautiously want to try new things…but not fail, (just like their teachers).  So in both unit plans and daily activities, you want to set up the activity so that everyone succeeds at some level. Along with showing awesome work of comic artists, show them some of the pathetic early efforts of these same artists. Have your students write their thoughts about inspiring , have them keep art journals to document progress (coupled with the promise that each of them will progress.)

    Ideally, you don’t want students to compare their work to other students, but to compare their work to themselves. Have them write weekly progress reports(Monday), and grade themselves on Friday on how they did on they did on their goals.  This can help you deal with some of your better students who slack off because they’re already better than their peers, make them set improvement goals for themselves and grade their own improvement.  I am constantly surprised at how accurate and generally honest students are in assessing their own work, especially once you have trained them in using “Grading rubrics.”

2) Self-esteem = authentic achievement.  I keep an eye out for exciting demonstrations, mainly because they excite me. My High schoolers enjoy my demos...and then generally forget most of the principles I was trying to teach them <sigh>.  But what really juices their brains and hearts are end-of-unit projects. Preceding each project I have to “scaffold”(introduce increasing challenging skills) to build up their chances of success, use repetition and pair-sharing as students train each other. “Unit projects” come in all sizes: a small one after 2 weeks of a concept, a bigger one after four weeks; each success is building the students “record of successes” in skills that everyone in class values.

Thank you for the input.

The kids I am working with are very averse to writing. Some of them it is like pulling teeth to get them to draw anything. However, there are a few in my cartooning class who might be interested.

I think what I am going to do - to begin with - is have them re-draw some Siegel and Shuster comics from the 1940s. We've already compared and contrasted them to the Swann Anderson from the 1970s.

Cool, sounds' like you already have a direction. Just thought I'd mention in passing that we've had some good success with a two week Graffiti art class at my high school.

God bless, Rob.


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