Cartoon project

From Teflpedia

Best suited to younger learners, creating cartoons and comics with a class is a task based learning approach to activating writing skills while promoting the extra-curricular skills of hand to eye coordination, team cooperation, time management and creativity. The duration of the task can vary from 10 minutes spent on a one-frame sketch to a magazine project lasting several months. There are many different approaches to managing such a project, and suggested syllabus for one short and one long project are as follows:

Example 1: 45 minute cartoon strip activity[edit]

Note: This activity may work well with an adult class by maximizing the discussion time and minimizing the sketch time.


  • The teacher will need to collect a few cartoons which are stereotypical.
  • Students need pencil and paper.


  • The cartoons are displayed on the walls of the class and students go round looking at them choosing the most interesting/funniest/most accurate fo the stereotype etc.
  • Feedback is a class discussion where students share their ideas and the teacher introduces the topic of stereotypes.
  • The students then mindmap topics and the stereotypes commonly associated with them. For example:
topic stereotype
gender men = strong; women = weak
religion Christians = peaceful; Muslims = terrorists
social class upper class = intelligent; lower class = stupid
nationalities British = polite; Spanish = lazy
  • The students then choose a topic and a stereotype and thinks up a cartoon to humorously support or challenge the stereotype.
Note: if students choose to support a stereotype, it may be worth discussing the impact that a facetious, inflammatory or offensive cartoon may have on a person whose demographic is negatively represented in it.
  • The students create a rough draft of their cartoon strip, which must include dialogue or a caption. The teacher monitors, helping with ideas and corrections.
  • Once the first drafts are ready, the students produce the final neat drafts.
  • The class display their cartoons on the walls.

Example 2: 6-10 hour cartoon strip project[edit]

  • Stage one: Study of types of cartoon characters e.g. heroes/heroines, villains, anti-heroes/heroines, protagonists, side characters/sidekicks, fools etc.
  • Stage two: Students brainstorm and develop the chosen character(s) to feature in their cartoon, including the characters´...
    • name & alias
    • personality & appearance
    • hobbies & interests
    • achievements & experiences
    • plans & ambitions
    • fears & regrets
    • hopes & dreams
    • friendships & relationships
  • Stage three: A look at a basic story structure:
For example, this structure....
  1. Exposition: introduces and illustrates the characters, location, time, context & situation.
  2. Problem: presents an break in equilibrium which is to be overcome.
  3. Result of problem: lives are in danger and Clark feels responsible.
  4. Possible solution(s): present possible measure(s) to be taken to return to normality.
  5. Solution in action: shows the efforts to restore equilibrium.
  6. Conclusion: the final result or outcome of the story.
...represents this narrative:
  1. Exposition: Clark Kent is at the bank, waiting in line.
  2. Problem: thieves burst in and start a bank robbery but Clark cannot change into Superman with so many people present.
  3. Result of problem: Clark feels concerned about the lives at stake, yet also about keeping his secret safe.
  4. Possible solution: Clark looks around and notices the large windows the thieves are standing under...
  5. Solution in action: Clark zaps the windows with his laser eyes so they shatter and cover the thieves with glass. Everybody looks that way and he changes identity in a flash and out of sight. He then flies up to the window, all in a split second, and makes it look like he flew in through the window.
  6. Conclusion: Superman saves the day and Clark`s secret is kept safe.
  • Stage four: The students mindmap and then develop the details of their own story narratives using the format studied.
  • Stage five: A rough draft of the cartoon strip is produced in pencil to allow for any changes and corrections.
  • Stage six:The final draft is produced.
  • Stage seven:All the cartoon strips are collated and formed into a class magazine.
  • Stage eight:The magazine is printed, distributed and exhibited (or even sold!).

See also[edit]