Name of Project: Comic Journaling

Grade Level or Age of Participant: Adult 

School, Teacher and Classroom: Spectrum Artworks, Jes Reyes

MCAD Teaching Artist:  Hanna Kivimaki

Number of Students: around 10

Overview of Project

The students will design a character that represents them, and draw (or start drawing) a simple short comic about their day or of a thought or idea that they have been thinking of.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential QUESTION(s)

 What do I want the comic of my life to be like?

What about my daily life would be interesting and/or fun for others to read too?

What makes me a good comic character?

What can represent me as a character?

How can I draw and write in a way that is intuitive and fun? 

Student Outcome Objectives

Students will:

1. Develop a spontaneous, quick way of comfortably representing themselves as comic characters.

2. Identify what parts of their daily life are interesting as story material.

3. Discover a new reason of self-worth and respect. They can each be the heroes of their own stories! 

Prior Knowledge

Basic storytelling and drawing skills. Prepared to show their work to a small audience (this is not mandatory).

Examples of Artwork

Examples of famous journal comics and some not as well-known comics found online, also examples done by the teacher. 

Additional Resources 


Individual assessment happens throughout the class, by the teacher (and assistants). There will also be a short sharing situation at the end, where most of the student work will be laid out for everyone to look at.


15-20 square shaped 8.5" x 8.5" pieces of drawing paper printed with comic templates

15-20 pieces of regular 8.5" x 11" printing paper for sketching and character design.

10 drawing pens 

A variety of drawing pens to try out

12-15 pencils

5 pencil sharpeners

10 erasers

3 rulers

3 white-out pens 

Learning Activities and Timing

1. A power point presentation and explanation of the project (10 minutes)

            -explanation of what journal comics are, followed with examples

            -examples of good journal comic characters

            -introduction of the project

2. Story-planning and character designs (15 minutes)

            -students start designing their characters and stories

            -teacher and assistants walk around, give feedback and help when needed

3. Drawing the story (25 minutes)

            -students draw their stories, preferably without sketching and straight with ink

            -teacher and assistants walk around, give feedback and help when needed

4. Sharing and discussion (10 minutes)

            -everyone spreads out their work and then walk around looking at the pieces.

5. The end!

            -The teacher thanks the students (and other participants) for good work

 (students don’t have to be finished at the end of class, but the goal is to have a good start to a new project)


Examples of Student Artwork