6 Frame Comic Summaries

We’re asking you to take your favourite film and re-imagine it for us in the form of a comic, within a six-frame panel (download template files). That’s the whole film, condensed into six frames.

This is another beautiful, reductionist way to analyze a book, historical figure, era, epoch or movement. I don’t see much use for math but I could also see some science possibilities.

You could pair up with an art teacher or just do it on your own. I’d have a stable of activities1 similar to these and allow students the option to choose between them at various points.

Keep in mind, they don’t have to be drawn. Let them use photographs. They could even take their own pictures. The concept/framework is simple but don’t let it box you in.

This is the stuff I really like in history and English. It’s low work on the teacher, high processing on the students. Deciding what elements are essential is a task that requires a lot of understanding and critical thinking, then representing those ideas graphically is another level of processing.

I’m working on a history example but it’s taking too much time (and thought) to do well immediately.


1 Of the condense and remix type. I’ve posted a few in the past.

Comments on this post

  1. Jenny said on February 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    “It’s low work on the teacher, high processing on the students.”

    My father always said that good activities for your children wear them out without taxing you at all. As a result my sister and I did a lot of running around, climbing, and such while he directed. His strategy never hit us until adulthood.

    I think you’ve hit on the parallel idea for teachers. Good ideas are low work for us and really push the students. Brilliant.

  2. Jim Groom said on February 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Brilliant, I am using this.

  3. Tom said on February 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Jenny – I’ve got 3 boys 6 and under so maybe that’s where my technique comes from . . . 🙂

    Jimmy Groom – I just harvest the bounty of the Internet.

  4. Dana Huff said on February 6, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    This reminds me of a quiz form I downloaded from the Making Curriculum Pop Ning. It’s called the “Cartoon Did You Read Quiz,” and the students draw a six-paneled cartoon that depicts one (or more than one) scene from the reading. On the reverse, students share a quote from the reading that they found interesting, problematic, or important and explain why they selected that quote. I have given the quiz. Students loved it (I was told it was the “funnest quiz” ever), and they do really well. Plus I can tell they did their reading. And what’s more, they had to think about the material (process) a lot more than on a standard five-question quiz.

    • Tom said on February 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      Interesting. I hadn’t seen that one but given the proliferation of ning sites it’s not surprising.

  5. jo said on March 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I am a student teacher and much of my time is spent trawling the internet for fresh ideas.I teach key skills and student motivation is often low.I used the comic book template in conjunction with an excerpt from a science fiction quick read book and asked the students to create ” what happens next?” in comic book form. It was the best session I’ve had with them.They were engaged and reviewing their work promoted discussion on equal opportunities,stereotyping and racism.Thank you – great site

    • Tom said on March 18, 2010 at 9:37 am

      Jo- That’s a great idea and perfect way to use this. I really appreciate you letting me know.

  6. Clix said on July 9, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Tom – sorry I’m coming to this so late but this is the season I’ve got more time to do my planning! ;D Does the zip file include examples?

  7. Tom said on July 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Clix- no examples in the zip file (at least as best I remember). It’s just template files. The page had some summaries if I recall correctly.

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  1. The Shining in 6 Frames at bavatuesdays said on February 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    […] off of Tom Woodward’s recent exercise he posted, I experimented with using six film frames to capture the essence of the film’s narrative. It […]

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