Ideas for use:

  • Teachers can create cartoons to use to introduce a topic for a class reading, to spark a discussion, or to pose a question to the class or a problem to solve.
  • Students can create cartoons from any dialogs they write, with purposes ranging from practicing a grammar structure or vocabulary word to dramatizing a role play for a given scenario.
  • Teachers can make cartoons to introduce or reinforce vocabulary, and students can be assigned to write scripts that demonstrate their comprehension of given vocabulary words or learned idioms
  • Both students and teachers can show do's and don'ts for a given scenario or problem; teach and learn about or have a debate; have opportunities to participate in listening comprehension exercises
  • Students can be assigned to respond to a reading or a class discussion topic, as in this example: We read in class about changing gender roles of men and women in modern society. Respond by writing a story/script for a mini movie or writing a dialog to give your opinion or experience with this topic.
  • Students can make news reports or give opinions on current events or political issues, as in this assignment from Techbrarian: Blog Topics for Talented Teens: Write a speech for Barack Obama. Have him talk about 3 things we need less of and 3 things we need more of in this country
  • Make commercials or a movie review, as in this assignment, also from Techbrarian
  • Tell jokes or stories or write the dialog for a short story or the ending of an open-ended story

1. Voki http://www.voki.comDescription:Customizable avatar (digital self) with options of text-to-speech (many accents/several languages), phone in, upload audio, or record with a microphone. Registration not required except for commenting. Vokis can be shared via email, linking, or embedding on a Web page.

2. MakeBeliefsComix Comic strip site. No registration required. Very user-friendly. Choose 2, 3, or 4 panels. Drag and drop characters (15 choices with four emotions per character). Move, scale, order, or flip items. Choose talk or thought balloons and add text. Choose background colors and panel prompts. Sharing only by email. Option to print. Multilingual: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin. With story ideas and writing prompts. The site offers 80 different characters, blank talk and thought balloons to be filled in with text, story prompts and printables, and accepts text in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Latin. Comics created can be printed and emailed. The educational online comic strip site also has added another feature that enables users to post their comic strips on their very own Facebook walls to share with friends and family.Samples:
Similar Sites:,,,,,,,,,
Notes: is sponsoring a comic strip contest as part of its efforts to encourage students enrolled in literacy and English as Second Language programs to develop their language, writing and reading skills. Each month students can submit by email their best comics created at the free online comic strip generator. Comics can be on any theme the student chooses. A selection will be posted periodically on the MakeBeliefsComix Facebook Wall and the winner of the best comic will receive a free book written by Bill Zimmerman, the creator of His books are used by educators to help students discover their writers’ voices and express what’s hidden within them. They include: MakeBeliefs: A Gift for Your Imagination; Pocket Doodles for Young Artists and Your Life in Comics: 100 Things for Guys to Write and Draw.
Contest rules: Classroom collaborative and individual submissions are encouraged each month. Books can be delivered to U.S. addresses only and winners will be notified via email. Winners under the age of 16 will be required to have an adult in the family or school provide the address for book delivery. Comic strips created on the site should be sent to, the email address of Bill Zimmerman. (For more information, go to:

3. Dvolver Digital movie site. No registration necessary. Saving and sharing: sharing by email (URL link) or html code embedded on a Web page; cannot be edited or changed at a later time; with registration, the site will allow editing capabilities in the future Types/# of characters: Maximum of two characters per scene; 33 edgy characters (from Fabio-like "Stud" to Uncle Sam to Jimi Hendrix impersonator "Mojo"). Types/# scenes: 15 genres of background music; up to three scenes; 15 backgrounds, 12 skies, 4 plots (rendezvous, pick-up, chase, soliloquy), four title designs. Dialog: Up to six lines of text per scene, maximum 100 characters per line of dialog; text in speech bubbles.
Samples: Dvolver student idiom project More idioms projects:

How-to: Russell Stannard’sTeacher Training Video on Dvolver and Nik Peachy's handout for download
Similar Sites: ,,,
Note: Download free desktop version of a similar program called STAGE'D, which is like Dvolver but in 3D. It is software rather than an Internet tool.

Hands-on:1. Voki -- question formation. Write three information questions (WH).2. MakeBeliefsComix and Dvolver --
Write a dialog of 6 lines
Conversation between two people
Topic: Giving Advice (Should, Had better, Ought to, Could, Must, etc.)
Example:* A friend doen't know how to speak English.* Someone has a headache.

As you like, email your work to the presenters at or for sharing. Thanks!

Other similar sites:

1. Xtranormal


Text-to-speech digital movie site. Registration is required. Types/# of characters: "Showpaks" options include one or two characters: Presidentz (George W. Bush and Barack Obama, others with "State" desktop version); Sarah Palin Live (Sarah Palin and Larry King); Playgoz (69 characters representing a variety of occupations, age groups, and interests); Beige (a variety of nondescript, grayscale men and women); ChuChuz (21 childlike people and animals); Peepz (35 teenagers and high school personnel); Superzeroz (14 male and female heroes ranging from Toilet Paper Man to Baker Woman); Robotz (13 robot figures); Pawz (six cute animals). Types/# scenes: Number and types of scenes varies with Showpak selected; 22 background ambiance music choices (ranging from rain to creaky stairs) and numerous music options ranging from reggae to surf beat; drag and drop and re-order numerous camera angles, emotions and gestures, and sound effects. Dialog: Text to speech: type in dialog for character(s) and for each character choose from female or male voices with a variety of English accents and other languages including German, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish; 20,000 characters for script per scene; automated lip sync Saving and sharing: Registration required; save and edit cartoons at a later time by choosing Remix; copy and paste URL to share by email, copy and paste html embed code to post on a Web page, publish to YouTube, or download to your desktop.

Cora Chen, SFCC, xtranormal samples at , Samples from Techbrarian blog ,
xtranormal FAQs(must be logged in to see these), xtranormal forum, or click Quick Tips under preview area for online step-by-step tutorial; see also Nik Peachy’s blog entry on using xtranormal in ESL and video tutorial


See samples; Here is a somewhat educational one done on nutrition. Download free desktop version, State; ratings and comments options

2. Zimmertwins On you create your own endings to one of their story starters. You may also create your stories from scratch. Registration required to save.
3. DoInk You can draw your own animations, share props, and collaborate.
4. Kerpoof In addition to being a lot of fun, Kerpoof has many educational uses. Visit the educator page (with ideas and lesson plans for how to use Kerpoof) or read their Teacher's Guide if you are in a hurry but want to learn more.
5. Bombay TV Add your own lines of script by recording your voice, adding subtitles, or using the text to speech option to Bollywood-like movie and TV scenes6. GoAnimate (this site allows you to record or upload your own audio/voice-over narration)