Friday, July 2, 2010

Make Your Own Comics

In the long school holiday, as well as reading dyslexic children also need to practice their writing .Writing is usually the weakest skill of all in someone with dyslexia because it requires them to integrate many different skills – spelling, punctuation, handwriting, sequencing and organisation etc. Children with dyslexia usually hate to write, and it often takes significant encouragement to get them to write anything.!!As a result I am always on the look out for something which might motivate my child to want to write.

I recently found this great site called “Make beliefs comix” – where children can make on-line comics free.

You can create a comic strip fairly quickly.You can choose from a range of characters and their emotions, add thought or speech balloons and also add objects and prompts.It is very easy to use.

Comics are not saved on the site.As a result when your child finishes their story they need to print out or email their comic.

The site has some teacher ideas and also activities for families. For those struggling with writing ideas , the "Writer prompts" page is useful.

The comic strips can be written in different languages :English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Latin.

Bill Zimmerman the designer of the site is a prize-winning newspaper editor and author of 18 books.

Google and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed Make Beliefs Comix among "the world's most innovative web sites in fostering literacy and reading."


Anonymous said...

Creativity for dealing with dyslexia is so productive. For me it was the practice of public speaking that helped me.

After failing the first grade, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. I failed English in the 10th grade, and algebra a total of five times. By the grace of God, I graduated high school with a 1.9 G.P.A on probation for bad behavior. Following high school, I failed out of three different community colleges. The first class I failed was public speaking. After my third attempt at college, in as many years, I became a car salesman. Selling cars was one of the best learning experiences of my life, however, at the age of 21, I did not posses the discipline to work sixty-plus hours a week for commission. So I quit. Needing to do something, I applied for the Los Angeles Police Department, only to fail the written exam. My father was an LAPD sergeant. A friend of my father had administered and graded the test. Severely humbled and having no other options, I decided to try college a fourth time.

I figured if I was going to be serious about school, I should start by retaking the courses I had failed. During the summer of 1991, I enrolled in a public speaking course at Los Angeles Valley College with Professor Betty Ballew. Professor Ballew not only inspired me to take the class seriously but encouraged me to join the LAVC public speaking team. To this day, I don't know why I agreed to do something extracurricular that was academic...but I did! I joined the LAVC public speaking team, and my life was changed forever. Professor Ballew inspired me to celebrate my strengths, and address my challenges.

I am now a tenured professor of speech at Los Angeles Valley College, where I serve as the Director of the forensics (public speaking team). I am now privileged to regularly participate with and foster countless success stories as I serve the very program that changed my life. On April 15-19th, 2008 the LAVC speech team competed against 74 other community colleges and over 450 of our nation's best speakers and won the Phi Rho Pi national public speaking championship tournament held in St. Charles, Illinois. However, the highlight of the year was a very special student named Marcus Hill. Marcus, a former stutterer, became the most successful competitive speaker in California community college history, as well as, the overall top speaker in the country while at nationals in Illinois. Like my Professor Betty Ballew, I am truly blessed with the privilege of helping students discover their individual strengths while actively negotiating their challenges.

In 1991, a college professor asked me if I was "retarded?". That same year Professor Ballew told me that I had "presence," and asked me to join the speech team. Professor Ballew focused on my strengths, and helped me to acknowledge and confront my challenges.

For several years I have contemplated reaching out to the dyslexic community to share my experiences. If I could encourage others to discover the empowerment that can be discovered by identifying and exploiting one's individual gifts; while at the same time motivating people to address their personal challenges, I would honor the opportunity.

Please forgive any spelling mistakes :)


Duane Smith

Joan Azarva said...

Yes, that is a great site because it encourages kids to write.

I have been a learning specialist for over 30 years and am passionate about these kids attaining success.

I recently started a blog, CONQUER COLLEGE WITH LD/ADD, that focuses on setting teens up to thrive in college.

If you have a teen in high school, I'm sure you'll find the site extremely useful!