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I teach in Japan where there is more manga (Japanese comics) than toilet paper. I found this activity worked really well even with mid to low-level students.

I took a page from a popular manga and copied it. I then took the same page and took out all of the original text written in the bubbles. So, I was left with one page of regular manga with text and one page of empty speaking bubbles. I then made enough copies for the entire class.

During class, I made a big deal that today we would be reading manga in class. I put the students into pairs and then gave them the first original page to read. I let them read the page for a minute or two. Then I would say that were going to try writing manga in English. I would then give them the blank bubble page and tell them to write a story any kind of story to fill in the bubbles.

The students would work in pairs or by themselves depending on the level. Students were allowed to use dictionaries, their books, or ask the teacher. In English of course ;-) I let the students work on their manga they were allowed to write about anything that they wanted. After a predetermined time I asked the students to come up and read their English manga in front of the class.

Some of the comics were very funny and the students had a great time. The activity let the students express their ideas and feelings in a fun and interesting way. The best so far was a conversation between two characters about where was the toilet.

Hope you like. Write me a e-mail to let me know how it goes.
[email protected]
Greg Boos
Yoshida, Japan

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