Middle-grade readers everywhere love the shenanigans and wisecracks of the bestselling Big Nate series. Now they can create comics of their own, just like Nate! In this free printable make-your-own-comic activity, Nate and his squad of sixth-grade pranksters break down comic-creation into easy steps. They open up a world of artistic possibility for fans of the beloved strip. Students can create their own four-panel stories in Lincoln Pierce’s signature style, coming up with their own characters and dialogue along the way. As they work, encourage middle-graders to focus critically on their personal writing and drawing processes. You may be inspiring a future cartoonist!
With this activity, students will be encouraged to think about comics as an art form. Doing so will help them learn how to use this time-honored medium to express their own stories. If aspiring artists have trouble thinking of new ideas, there’s plenty of inspiration to draw from the chaotic fun of Nate’s daily routine. He’s always battling against overzealous teachers, protesting unfair wedgies, and trying to set the all-time record for detentions in a single school year. Implementing this Big Nate activity in the classroom or at home is easy.
First, download the free printable make-your-own-comic template. Then, guide your students through imagining, drawing, and writing their own version of a Big Nate cartoon strip. Show them as many examples of Big Nate comics as you want to get their brains in gear. Creating a comic strip is a great exercise on its own, but pairing it with any of the classic Big Nate stories takes engagement and enjoyment to the next level.