Spotlight on Strategies

Communicative Cartoons


Learning a second language takes many hundreds and hundreds of hours along with knowing thousands and thousands of words. Students learning Spanish as a second language need a variety of reading strategies to develop and increase their reading comprehension skills. According to Derin and Gokce (2006), research indicated that reading is important to language and vocabulary learning but that it should be supplemented with post-reading activities in order to increase students' vocabulary knowledge. Students have a better chance of retaining information if they actually use the information rather than just reading it. This post reading activity requires students to use interpersonal writing skills in order to create cartoon dialogues that display their understanding of new vocabulary terms as well as the content of the reading selection .



For this activity students will be working on their comprehension of a selected reading piece, learning the meanings of many new vocabulary terms by using context clues and also, analyzing text for meaning. Students will be using pre-reading and during reading strategies, however the main focus for this activity will be on their post reading strategies using interpersonal communication to show comprehension.

Students are asked to:

1. Read the assigned authentic text in the target language.

2. Highlight new vocabulary terms in the selected piece of reading.

3. Use context clues to identify meanings of new vocabulary terms.

4. Upon completion, discuss the main ideas of the reading selection with your group.

5. In pairs, create a cartoon dialogue between 2 characters using ToonDoo.

6. In the cartoon, be sure to use at least 3 new vocabulary words in your dialogue.

7. Also make sure that your characters dialogue about one of the main ideas covered in

the reading selection.

8. Once complete, save your image and post on the class blog for all other groups to view.

9. View all cartoons made by your classmates to check your comprehension.

Sample ToonDoo

"La comida en otras partes" reading selection.

Created by Mrs. Orseno

Big image

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Getting Started With ToonDoo


This strategy can be used in all content areas. I challenge any educator to pick a content rich piece of text and have your students read through it. Working in groups, give your students time to process what they are reading, find the meaning of some new terms and discuss with classmates to check for understanding. Once those steps are complete, have your students work in pairs to create a dialogue between 2 characters in which they discuss some of the content that was in the reading selection. This allows students to synthesize the reading material and make it their own.

Have each pair post their cartoon on a class blog and allow time for students to read all dialogues. Then, discuss the similarities and differences between the dialogues and make a chart of the key points that seemed to surface throughout the projects. By doing so, students should have completed a good review of the key concepts from the reading selection.

Resources for Post-Reading Activities


Derin, A., & Gokce, K. (2006, December). Elementary School EFL Learners’ Vocabulary

Learning: The Effects of Post-Reading Activities. Canadian Modern Langauge Review, 63(2), 255-273.

Anthony, Alicia. (2015). The Purpose of the Post Reading Phase. GlobalPost. Retrieved from:

Smekens Education Solutions. (2015). Idea Library - After Reading. Retrieved from:

Pardo, D.A. (2011, January 18). Tutorial Toondoo [Video file]. Retrieved from:

After Reading Strategies image retrieved from:

Computer kids image retrieved from:

Characteristics of Interpersonal Writing image retrieved from: