Having Japanese ESL students filling in dialog for a comic strip.
The Japanese school system is a funny thing; exams happen three weeks before the term ends, meaning three weeks of students rather unwilling to learn anything new. That being so, I decided to corrupt my high schoolers in the most amusing, English-oriented manner possible. I made a short class on American comics with artwork and examples of popular comic books and comic strips. Then came the exciting part: making your own American-style comic!
I chose to work with Penny Arcade for three main reasons. First, Gabe’s detailed facial expressions made the setting and emotions clear even without text. Second, the simple lines of Gabe’s style made it ideal for xeroxing onto the necessary low-grade paper; less visual information got lost than with a more detailed style. Third, I like Penny Arcade a lot and thought it would be really funny.
Students got into groups of four, then chose three strips to complete from a group of six provided. I did this class two years in a row and am only now getting around to scanning it in, so some strips are more heavily represented than others.