The first day back at school has happened.

Due to a new finance/ordering system it took an extra few days for our new resources (pencils etc) to arrive. Most teachers went and bought their own pencils from the pound shop or managed to find enough. I lacked time and money- so turned to the iPads.

What did I do?

We had only just begun to read a book called ‘Cosmic’ by Frank Cotrell-Boyce- two chapters in (my favourite chapters in the book) and the children were laughing and some were mesmerised. Personally, I’ve never been to space but I expect the feeling of never being able to return to earth is quite terrifying. This feeling was portrayed in the pupils’ comic strips.

I’ve used the ‘comic life’ app before. I like it as it is really accessible. It can be fiddly at times- especially when you are trying to change the image or add another box to the template. Nevertheless, I think it’s the best out there. Last year I used the app and the results were good. However, the background frustrated me. Unless children were ‘on set’ (choosing to use our school for the scenes), the background bothered me. The pictures simply weren’t believable. Bearing in mind that I wanted my characters to be spiraling into the Nothingness (as Liam the over-sized child calls it), it definitely wouldn’t of been believable.

The solution: App Smashing!

I set up five green screens in the classroom. Children then worked in groups to create 4 or 5 still frames. They chose their own images of space and even learnt about Creative Commons Licencing and Copyright.

Children were able to take pictures of themselves in space through green screen by doink. They then inserted these pictures to their comic life comic strips. They added speech bubbles and thought bubbles to tell the story. The result was impressive. Children were amazed that, by working together, they could create such stunning comic strips. Since this lesson, I’ve heard many positive comments from a range of parents- their children are enjoying learning in my class.


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