FREE Year 1 and Year 3 Comic Creation (Teacher Notes)
Pupil Activity Code: 45TT – What is it?

🧩 Progression of skills in this pack
1. Add, resize and organise colour or picture backgrounds.
2. Add, resize, organise characters/objects to different panels.
3. Add narration using text and direct speech using speech bubbles.
4. Save comic with name and title. (Year 3 skill)
5. Add audio recordings. (optional) (Year 3 skill)

📝 Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum Content
Key Stage 1: Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
Key Stage 2: Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals.

⏱ 3 hours

Prior Learning
Pupils should have experience of combining text and images, including Year 1 Text and Images.

🛠 What will teachers and pupils need?
For the activities below; pupils will need access to the Make Beliefs Comix website. It is free to use and works on all devices but does require a login to save work. Teachers could create a generic username and password that all the class share (although too many pupils accessing the same login simultaneously may cause issues with the website so possibly share the logins between groups of 3/4 pupils) and link it to the teacher email address to manage etc. We have made a video below for teachers to explain this. This also helps with assessment (see end of this page). If pupils have microphones on their computers or devices, they can add audio to each panel, which is covered below.

Teacher information

Video introduction

👨‍🏫 Teacher input
Start these activities by watching the introduction tutorial (also included in the pupil activity pack). You could also discuss the advantages of creating comics digitally compared to how they were previously made. (e.g speed of production). You may want to go through the videos below together (especially with year 1) as a class and discuss the different aspects of comic creation; scenes, backgrounds, characters, narration/speech bubbles, stickers.

🚦 Differentiation
This pack can be used by both by Year 1 and 3 pupils (or anywhere in Key Stage 1 or 2). Year 1 pupils should be able to insert background, characters and text to label characters/backgrounds. Year 3 pupils may be able to independently extend their comic to include a storyline. Year 3 should also be encourage to independently save their comic and add audio (if microphones available).

The less able may need support with content for their comic, which you could provide. There are examples of comic starters here, which pupils could continue. Year 1 pupils may also want to try our unplugged lego comic builder activity to help with understanding the different parts of a comic.

The more able pupils should be encouraged to used both narrative boxes and speech bubbles in their comics, but also communicate a message, such as instructions or a moral.  The Year 3 Storyboards Activity Pack can be used as extension to this pack as it covers similar skills but has more tools.

Pupil Activity Pack (Teacher view)
1. Backgrounds
Watch the video to learn how to add a background picture or colour to your first comic panel.

2. Characters
Watch the video to learn how to add some characters in a similar way to how you added the backgrounds but choosing the CHARACTERS option.

You use the different tools below the panel to move, arrange and scale the characters.

3. Add speech bubbles and narration
Use the balloons tab to add speech/thought bubbles and narration to each of your panels.

4. Add objects and stickers/words
Use the OBJECTS and WORDS options, plus what you have learned so far to add various different objects and stickers to your panels. 

5. Saving
Once you have finished you can put your comic name and author name (you) in the boxes above your comic and click ‘Save.’

Add audio recordings (optional, requires a microphone)
If your computer or device has a microphone then you can use the microphone icon to add a recording to each panel of the narration and/or speech bubbles. Watch the video to learn how this can be done.

Screenshot 2022-03-09 at 10.59.38

✅ Assessment
As mentioned above, the Makes Belief Comix website does require a login to access. Teachers can create a generic username and password for pupils to share. Pupils can sign in and put their comic name and author name in the relevant boxes above their comic and click ‘Update.’ This also allows the teacher to sign in using this account and see all the comics the pupils have created by clicking ‘View all saved comix.’

📝 Unplugged Assessment Activity

Below is a downloadable and printable activity sheet (mainly designed for year 3) that can be used to assess pupil understanding of the vocabulary and application of the skills, either individually or as a group task/extension task.  


Below is a certificate of completion for pupils that can be edited in Microsoft Word and printed. This could be awarded if you feel pupils have demonstrated the skills taught in the activities.