A comic can bring topics to life

One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is reading the Sunday comics from the Chicago Tribune, however, back then we called them “The Funnies”. It helped me feel like I was part of the “grown up” world, asking for a section of the newspaper to read. But, it also taught me about family, war, animals, and a whole lot more… I remember doodling the 7-UP Spot for hours – turning him into a swashbuckling pirate, swinging between the masts of ships, all to meet his downfall when the Chinese invented gunpowder… One of my friends and I would take long rolls of paper about 7″ high and create evolving stories and worlds that you could simply roll up and take with you. All you needed was a pencil and you could be telling a story, solving math problems in inventive ways, re-creating history…

I think I chose “Cool Spot” well… because he was a thick circle with noodle arms and big shoes and amazingly easy to draw. Heck, I might have even started with him because you can trace a quarter and get a circle… However, not all kids (or adults) feel they can draw or even doodle well. So, here is where steps in for those of us who can only draw circles. ToonDoo is a great online resource for everyone and anyone to be able to create cartoons.

With ToonDoo, students can use comics and cartoon characters to demonstrate concepts, display language skills, present ideas, dreams, and even fears all without worrying whether or not they can draw. ToonDoo has a simply interface and a very robust set of over 8000 built-in AND CUSTOMIZABLE props for students to choose from to create their comics. ToonDoo even has multi-language support for text. In addition, there are the 4-R’s of ToonDoo for more creativity:

  • ImagineR – Allows for images to be uploaded and then modified.
  • DoodleR – An artist palette that let’s a student draw on top of his or her toons.
  • TraitR – Allows students to create characters from scratch and turn them into avatars.
  • SocialR – A social wrapper that allows for others to comment, follow, and favorite others work.

Other features like the ability to create single to multiple panel (horizontal or vertical) comic strips, change postures for the built-in props, and even the ability to create complete books from student’s work that can then be printed, shared, or embedded. What a fun way to have students share concept and skill knowledge with their parents. Think of some of the possibilities for ToonDoo:

Math and Science – Presenting equations, formulas, or concepts… (can you imagine a periodic table made from ToonDoo comics?)

ESL / World Language / English – Practicing language skills and conversations, words and expressions, skills and understanding for readings, plays, and more…

Social Studies – Past and Current events, moments in history, political ideas…

Art – The possibilities are endless…


ToonDoo is a free and public site so there may be some concern about content. To address this, there is both a safe search component to the site, and the option for educators to set up a private and secure ToonDooSpaces account. Note: there is a free 15 day trial for ToonDooSpaces as it is a low-cost fee service. Here is a brochure about ToonDooSpaces for more information.

Here is a comic I created for the unsung hero of the Harry Potter Movies ;0)


Image Credit: 7-Up Spot – The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group

What do you think?

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