When I Was 6 X 6

Monday, June 30, 2014

This morning in my “Reading Graphic Novels” class, I asked students to draw a picture of themselves when they were 6 years old and then to develop a 6 panel comic based upon an experience they had during that time in their lives.

Because they have a Final Comic Assignment due in two days, I thought I’d give them a chance to draft something this morning that they might develop further into a 12 panel comic for this week.

First, I showed them an example or two of Lynda Barry’s “Marlys” comics to give them an idea of what might be possible.

Then I asked them to draw a portrait of how they looked at 6.  I also asked them to think about what clothes they might be wearing, what games or toys they played with, and the relationships they had with siblings and friends.

Next, I asked them to draw a narrative box in which they wrote, “I am [their name], and I am [some activity].”

After letting them draw and write for about 10 minutes, I then passed out blank 4 X 6 inch note cards and asked them to draw a 6 panel comic based upon their portrait and brief narrative.  After 15 minutes, I asked them to share their comics with each other, and then asked if anyone would like to share theirs with the class on the document camera.  About 8 students volunteered.

Here’s the one I sketched quickly;

My Job My Job_001 My Job_002 My Job_003 My Job_004 My Job_005I’m happy with what my students were able to sketch out for comics in the limited time I gave them.  Now I see that this is an exercise I could use in any class to prompt personal narrative writing.  I will definitely use this exercise in my creative writing class in the second summer session starting next Wednesday.  I’m also happy with what I learned about myself at the end of my comic.