First Grade Comics

At the back of my classroom are three huge magnetic bulletin boards with “we are proud of ourselves” written above it.


With a declaration like that, I can’t possibly leave them unfilled. But for some of my kids, giving them something to fill out and/or color is torture. They’ll fill it out after some prompting but coloring it is asking too much. They act too cool for coloring – but if one starts, then the enthusiasm of the scented markers picks up (or maybe the high off of them) and they will start coloring with wild abandon.

I’m really proud because for the first time ever I’m out of space on my boards!

Because of scheduling mixups with first grade, I was finished with my portion of the chapter long before my co-teacher. So I got to work on the “project” portion of the chapter where the students use all the language from the chapter in one final writing project.

The mission: try to write a comic about “being a good internet user.”

Because getting them to draw and/or color is an ordeal, I provided print-outs of blank comics for them to choose and fill in. (I also provided blank strips for true artists to fill in. Only 1 out of 250 students did this). Even with blank strips, it took the full 45 minutes to brainstorm, fill in, and color.

Here are some of my favorites. I’ve typed the dialogue under in case you can’t read it well. Don’t expect a Sunday Funnys. These guys are trying to keep it relevant and are working in a second language. I thought they were funny in their own way. comics

Top: “I have to shut the door!” “Oh! What are you doing! Oh mygod! You are downloading movie illegally” “What!” “Download the movie on the internet is illegal thing. I will catch you!” “Oh I’m sorry but can you just let me breath?” “I catch you!”

Middle: anti-joke: “I feel bad.” “Why?” “You don’t care.” “What’s the matter” (a target phrase from another chapter! way to go student!!) “…get out of here.” “Please, I just wanna help you.” “I said get out.”

Last: “Do you want to steal IDs” “Sure, I’d love to” (he says, toasting a drink!) “You must not do that!”





Those were all great efforts using the target phrases and trying to stay on topic. Needless to say those were rare.

comicsagainHere the greaser rat is looking at “19” (aka porn or adult websites) “I like sexy movie. So I enjoy watch sexy movie.” The rat stares intently at the screen. “Oh… good…” Abraham Lincoln (?!) appears “Hey. What are you doing. You are not watching sexy movie.” The rat shrugs: “Okay. :(”

Then two ducks look over a computer screen: “What are you doing?” “I’m downloading a movie.” … “Have a good time.”

The last panel would have been an excellent time to say “you must not do that” thus satisfying the purpose of the chapter. But this comic is the best because it is Korean through and through. Downloading movies illegally is the thing to do here. And, quite frankly, teaching the English phrase “that’s illegal” in a internet context is a farce.



The most coveted comic strip was “stare dad” a once popular joke online. I’m not sure if the kids had seen it before but it was their favorite mostly so they could color in stare-dad’s eyes.

On the left – girls. “Dad!” “Why?” “I didn’t use good word in internet” “You must be a good internet user” (the name of the chapter!) On the right: “Dad~!! I’m scared!” “…” “Dad, what are you doing?” “I’m reading adult book!” Well done, boys. Hey, at least it’s in English.
“I’m sorry to hear that” is another target phrase from this semester. Well done.



Cheer up is a phrase tossed around quite a bit here. If I even mention “Oh, I’m trying to get my computer to work” usually someone will offer “cheer up.” So this comic is pretty perfectly Korean. Someone’s ID being used wrongly is a matter for the police. Instead the dad offers “cheer up.”
“Dad! I can’t sleep!” “I’m reading now. Don’t talk.” “Dad… help me. Please.” … “Don’t talk to me!!! Right?”

Maybe they aren’t so funny, but I like them. It was also the best week ever for first grade because my coteacher and I just got to walk around and see what they were writing. It was a great break from the normal classes – for everyone.


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