The boy who sat next to me in fourth grade was one of them. You know, the kid who could take a pencil and piece of notebook paper and sketch the coolest drawings. John’s specialty was race cars but he also drew cartoons, self-portraits and images of his teachers, which were sometimes not the most flattering.
John, like many artsy kids today, was not interested in traditional homework assignments but excelled if the assignment included drawing. Bible teachers know that keeping the attention of children like John in a traditional children’s ministry classroom can be challenging. I have found that allowing these kids (who are often boys) to become digital artists instills interest in the content being taught–the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.
So how do they become digital artists and learn Christian principles at the same time? It’s as simple as utilizing free online comic strip creators. If you think comic strips or cartoon characters are things of the past, think again. Hundreds of movies based on comic strip characters have been created over the years and are more popular than ever. Children’s Bibles such as The Action Bible have been published with a comic strip format. The Comic Book Bible app is available on iTunes. Kids love comic strips!
Strategies for Integrating Comic Strip Creators into Bible Lessons
- As the teacher, create the first comic slide of a real life scenario. Have the children create the remaining comic slides of characters exhibiting a Christ-like attitude such as humility, friendliness, encouragement, love, etc.
- Have kids create a comic strip to retell or replay a Bible story.
- Have kids create a comic strip role playing how they should live their life to serve God.
- After studying a Bible topic such as salvation, have kids create a comic strip of themselves telling their lost friend about Jesus and how to be saved.
- Ask kids to reflect upon the great godly men of the Bible such as Joseph. Create a comic strip of the character exhibiting that godly behavior. For example, Joseph was mistreated by his brothers but he did not seek revenge but forgave his brothers.
- Have kids use lyrics from a Christian song or hymn to create a comic strip. This requires kids to interpret the meaning of the song.
Comic Strip Creators Suitable for Elementary Kids
- Read Write Think is a very simple comic strip creator that can be used with children as young as kindergarten.
- TooDoo at www.toondoo.com is a fun and easy way to create comic strips without having to draw. Just click, drag and drop.
- Create black and white comic strips with Strip Generator at www.stripgenerator.com
- Make Beliefs Comix at www.makebeliefscomix.com is simple enough for younger children but suitable for adults. This site includes great story starters.
You may find that kids enjoy comic creation so much that they continue to develop their projects at home. If this happens, you will know you have accomplished your goal of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ!