4 fun language games using comics

As we mentioned in this article, we can use comics/graphic novels as a means to pique our children’s interest in reading. The activities in this post are based off comics and the way this medium tells stories.

Most of these activities are geared towards combining art, sequential time, and story for the purpose of teaching children Chinese vocabulary, and more importantly, encouraging them to make use of what they have learnt.

Story Prompt Game

(age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • You can use prompt lines from the Sagebooks lessons.
  • Draw 2, 4, 6, or 8 panels (squares) on a sheet of paper and provide lines underneath each square.
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Read a short prompt (or ask your child a question). For example: What did you do in school today? Where do you want to go on summer vacation? Retell me the story of Cinderella.
  2. Ask your child to draw pictures and write a caption (or story) underneath each panel.
  3. When they’re done, have them read out loud the story.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. The younger your child, the fewer panels you can include.
  2. To make it easier, you can provide a story they can retell. The more familiar the story, the easier to re-tell.
  3. To make it more difficult, you can provide only 1-3 word prompts instead of asking questions.
  4. To make it easier, you can ask a series of questions and have them answer one question per panel.

Comic Dialog

(age 4+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper with either pre-printed/drawn pictures (you can either copy or draw your own. You can also try to do it with our Bunny's Adventure Comics.)
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Optional: draw speech bubbles by each character in the panel
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Give your child the sheet with all the picture/panels.
  2. Ask them to fill in the dialog or story from the pictures.
  3. Ask them to read the story when done.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. To make the activity harder, you can include more scenic pictures vs panels with multiple people in the box.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can have very obvious actions in the pictures so your child can just tell you what is happening in the pictures.
  3. To make the activity easier, you can use fewer panels. To make it harder, add more panels.

Draw a Missing Panel

(age 4+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper with either pre-printed/drawn pictures (you can either copy or draw your own. You can also try to do it with our Bunny's Adventure Comics.)
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Delete a provided panel
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Have your child read the comic and ask them what they think happened in the missing panel.
  2. Ask your child to draw the action and provide a story or dialog in the missing panel.
  3. Read the final product out loud.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. To make the activity harder, you can remove more panels. In addition, you can remove middle panels so that your child has to work hard to figure out what could happen in the middle scenes in order to result in the final panels.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can remove only the last panel. It should be much easier to create an ending than a middle.

Order Activity

(age 4+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Several comics
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Cut up the panels
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

   

  1. Mix up the panels.
  2. Ask your child to order the panels from the beginning of the story to the end.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. To make the activity easier, you can provide your child with the start and/or end panels.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can also use comics with fewer panels and with very obvious results. (eg: a deflated balloon, a blown up balloon, then a popped balloon)
  3. To make the activity harder, you can use comic panels that are not super obvious in terms of chronology. The main way your child would be able to put them in order is to read the dialog or story captions and sort that way.

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Use flashcards creatively.

Instead of using flashcards in the traditional sense of having your child “Read” the card and you put it in two piles of “know” and “review,” you can incorporate fun into the flashcards. You may have noticed that many of our activities use flashcards – but in more active ways.

Using flashcards in kinetic activities will help your child retain the characters in a more comprehensive way than just pure memorization. Yes, memorization has its place and flashcards are useful to determine whether your child knows a character or not. However, it’s not always that interesting. Try integrating a few of our suggested activities with your flashcards and see if your kids clamor for more time with them.

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