Name of Project: Comic Art—Fables

School/Teacher/Classroom or Arts Organization/Mentor: Brenda Butler, Field Community School

Grade Level or Age of Participants: 5th and 6th Grade

MCAD Teaching Artist:  Ingrid Jorgensen

Number of Students: 20

Visual Arts Content or Standards

Generate an innovative idea for art making

Identify and demonstrate diverse approaches of exploring artistic methods and generating ideas.

Elaborate upon innovative ideas for art making.

Explore artistic methods and ideas to create personally relevant artwork.

Design and/or redesign objects, places or systems.

Employ abstraction, symbolism, or naturalism when making a work of art.

Consider and respond to the needs of the viewer when displaying artwork 

Overview of Project

Students will create a one-page comic based on a fable of their choosing.  A single page will either have six panels or eight panels; students will choose which layout is best for their project.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential QUESTION(s)

-What does a successful comic look like?

-How do comics communicate ideas?

-How can one take written language and turn it into visual imagery? 

Student Outcome Objectives

Students will:

1. Create and apply visually descriptive language

2. Translate written language into visual imagery

3. Create a visual narrative of their chosen fable

Prior Knowledge 

To have read and chosen the fable they wish to adapt

Lesson Preparation Timeline

-Meet with teacher and discuss lesson possibilities

-Create lesson plan; review & refine with teacher if necessary

-Students are given comic art introduction packet to review and complete

-Create slideshow of personal artwork

-Slideshow of personal artwork is shared with students

-Students read fables during class and select which one they’d like to adapt

-Students practice drawing animals and humans in relation to their fables

-Discuss comics language by analyzing Scott McCloud’s comic panel transitions

-Guide students through own comic as needed

-Assess teaching and outcomes  

Examples of Artwork

Students will see a small variety of personal artwork made in this medium.  They will also see Scott McCloud’s examples of different panel transitions.  

Additional Resources

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics


Viewing the students’ work during and after the lesson.

Quality work will look like a finished or sufficiently crafted comics page which shows a comprehensive narrative of the fable they are adapting.     


-Comic pages: 2x3 & 2x4 panel templates, printed on cardstock

-Colored pencils



Learning Activities and Timing

 1. Introduce comics and personal work to class (5 minutes)

2. Discuss different ways comics can create a scene using Scott McCloud’s transitions as examples (10 minutes)

3. Explain/demonstrate basics of starting comic project, such as thumbnails and character sketches (5 minutes)

4. Give students time to create their comics, during which walk around and check-in with the students, ask about their work, make suggestions, answer questions, etc. (20 minutes) 

5. Conclude the lesson; encourage students to show their comics to one another (5 minutes)