Cooperative Comics

Comic books are visual literature. This simple cooperative group activity allows students to identify confrontational issues within their own school and then imagine solutions.
Grade Level

Step One

As a class, brainstorm and list typical situations where students might find themselves in conflict. These might be bullying, race, socio-economic or gender related. List these on the board.

Divide students into groups of five. Have each group select one of the topics, allowing them to choose the one they find most engaging.


Step Two

Concept Mapping
Student groups map out the concept they've chosen, listing ideas and incidents tied to the theme. Guide them in thinking about what causes confrontation, how it plays out, how it makes people feel, and what alternatives might happen to change the outcome.


Step Three

Story Concept
Explain that a story has parts: a beginning, middle and end. Their comic story will have five parts.

  1. Beginning
  2. A scene to advance the story
  3. Middle
  4. A scene to advance the story
  5. Ending

Have student groups discuss how their story begins and ends. Then have them add a middle. Finally, let them create the two scenes that will complete their comic.


Step Four

Students split up the five frames of the comic book with each of them doing one scene. Words and drawings must flow from one scene to another, so it is important that they discuss what is going on. Is it plausible? Can you see this really occurring? Is this how people in our school actually speak?


Step Five

Students can present their strips orally to the class and also "publish" them by hanging them in the classroom or hallway adjacent to their classroom.

Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

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