I hope you'll all try out the new tools we've added to MakeBeliefsComix.com. The announcement with details appears below. Thanks/Bill Zimmerman
MakeBeliefsComix.com Unveils New Features
to Help ESL, Literacy Students Write, Read and Tell Stories
Some good news to share with you! MakeBeliefsComix.com has launched a new version of its educational comics web site with added features to enrich the experience of students as they write, read and tell comic strip stories online.
.We have increased the number of diverse fun comic characters to 20. Each character has four different emotions – happy, sad, angry, worried --that can be deployed in stories, for a total of 80 different faces and expressions. Users can select the ones they want and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make characters talk and think.
.We have added a new function that displays 25 objects and environments that can go with the characters as stories are created. These objects include foods, hobbies, toys and sports equipment. In addition, there are trees, flowers, buildings, sun and moon. By adding these objects to the comic panels, students can create more complex, interesting stories and in so doing, practice new words. Seven languages, including English and Spanish, can be used on the site, and a teacher’s guide is provided.
.We have linked MakeBeliefsComix.com to our other web site, http://www.billztreasurechest.com
, which features many interactive activities and idea prompts from my books to help reluctant writers express themselves. The activities range from providing subject prompts to encourage story and personal writing, to keeping a diary, to recording family oral histories, to creating paper memory quilts that depict students’ lives and achievements. Also featured are a writer’s prompt blog and many printables and templates for creating comic stories.
Since we launched MakeBeliefsComix.com three years ago, more than 1.6 million people from 180 countries have visited. We were selected by Google and UNESCO as among the world’s most innovative web sites that encourage reading and literacy and won Parents’ Choice Foundation Recommended Award.
Our site is used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English as a Second Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy. Some educational therapists use the online comics with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends.
Our site is free.
Please try the new features with your students and children and send us your feedback. We want to be the best educational web site we can be for you. We hope you will share what we are doing with your colleagues.