Pixton Lesson 2:

Tools of Storytelling

Learning Objective: To understand the basic storytelling tools a comic creator uses to tell a story.

Overview: Comics tell a story. In this lesson, students will learn about some of the storytelling tools a cartoonist uses. Then they’ll use these tools to create a comic of their own.

Success Criteria:

  • I can identify the storytelling tools a comic creator uses in a comic.
  • I can use these storytelling tools to make my own comic.

Materials Needed:

  • A copy of the Google Slides for this lesson (see below).
  • Markers.
  • Comic Worksheet or newspaper comics.
  • Pixton.

Lesson Plan


  • Open the Elements of a Comic Slides presentation.
  • Slide 2: Ask students:
    • What they know about comics?
    • How is a comic different from a chapter or picture book?
    • Brainstorm their ideas on the clipboard. 
  • Slide 3: Read the comic as a class.
    • What do they notice about the way the comic is written?
    • Are there any paragraphs or chapters?
    • How did the writer tell the story? 
  • Slides 3-13: Using the Slides presentation, teach the primary storytelling tools used to create a comic e.g., caption, speech bubble, thought bubble, whisper bubble, shout bubble.


  • Slides 17-18: Distribute the newspaper comics or Comic Worksheet to students.
  • In pairs, have students highlight and label the storytelling tools used in a comic.
  • They can then fill in the storytelling bubbles with what they think is missing from the story.
  • You may ask some of the following questions as students are learning: 
    • What do they notice about each panel?
    • What do the speech bubbles show us?
    • Can you tell me why you think they used this bubble here?
    • What is the difference between narration and speech bubbles?
    • Why do you think they have some words in bold text like WHOOOSH?
  • Perform a gallery walk around the class to view what their peers found.
  • See Slide 19 for answers.


  • Using Pixton, create a three-panel comic about your best day ever.

    • Did you win a million dollars?

    • Did your puppy start talking to you? It doesn’t have to be true, of course.

  • Teachers, feel free to link to a theme you are already doing at school!

  • Remember to use at least three of the five storytelling tools.

  • You can share student comics online or by printing them out.