Harlem Renaissance and Reluctant Writers

Comic Life is a great tool for helping students who struggle with writing. Comics help to break down the paragraph in to shorter, more approachable, sentences. And having visuals to prompt the writing helps students fill out a full story rather than facing a daunting blank page. 


Students at Murray Middle School take Comic Life back to the Harlem Renaissance with their wonderful projects. Their teacher, Susan Girouard, explains the project and how the students worked with Comic Life. 


Text and images from The Murray Middle School Blog:


Duke Ellington CLComic Life was used to adapt an assignment for struggling readers in which they were required to do research on a individual from the Harlem Renaissance.  Due to their developing writing skills, Comic Life provided a format  in which they could utilize both text and photos so show what they learned about a chosen person.  Without the use of Comic Life, these students would not have been as successful at researching and writing a paragraph about the person they chose, nor would they have learned as much about what other students researched.


Research Action Plan

charlie_parker CLDoes behavior and thus academic success improve if students are provided with an outlet for creativity and self expression?

Action:  A small group (4-5) of E/BD students will work on a year long project to create a yearbook for our federal setting 3 program.  They will learn to use ComicLife and photo editing software as well as digital cameras to create the final product.

Evaluation:  Behavioral logs, student attendance on group days and participation in mainstream classes will be compared from 1st trimester to 3rd trimester.

Reflect:  Did a creation of a yearbook using a Netbook and ComicLife really help to improve behavior and academic achievement?

Summary:  Comic Life was a great tool for channeling creativity and organizing a large quantity of information in order for students to publish their own yearbook.  Over the course of the year, there were 7 students involved in this group.  During yearbook groups, students displayed behavioral success.  There were no incidents requiring out of class interventions.  In addition, two students who have consistently been at odds over the past two years, were able to work together on this project with no problems.  3 of the 7 students increased their amount of mainstream classes with 2 of the 3 moving to a less restrictive setting.  Unfortunately, 2 students left our program due to significant mental health needs.  So, did the creation of a yearbook really help to improve behavior and academic achievement?  According to this plan no, however the students benefitted in other ways.  Specifically students were able to be a part of creating a final project that taught them new computer skills and provided an outlet for creativity  which our EBD students don’t always have access.


Comic Life was also a great tool for creating posters to use with Positive School-wide Behavior Model.  Students were able give specific examples of positive behavior expectations in a school setting.

PBSFundraiser Layout


FILED UNDER: Education, Imported