Thursday, April 21st, 2011...9:58 am

Comic in Calculus

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As the fall semester of 2010 ended, I assigned a rather comical assignment in my Calculus 2 classes.

Students were told that the assignment was designed to aid in their preparations for the final exam. They could work with up to 2 other students. The assignment involved picking any content of the semester and create a cartoon. Along with the cartoon, students included a sentence indicating the content the drawing was intended to help someone learn and the corresponding section in the text.

For full credit, the cartoon

  • had to be related to content from this semester of Calculus II material,
  • could contain one panel or multiple panels, and
  • could be drawn by hand or with a computer.

The cartoons were then used as we reviewed the semester’s material in preparation for the final.

To aid students concerned about their drawing skills, I demonstrated how to easily create a cartoon in PowerPoint. First, find a picture you like. For example, I entered “ski cartoon” into Google images and found the pictures of the fox and skier seen in the image below. Then, I simply pasted them into PowerPoint and used the drawing features to create the slope, speech bubble, words and surrounding panel. Here is my example:

A few days later, the classroom buzzed as students handed in their cartoons and shared them with each other often before submitting their assignment. I look forward to using the assignment again.

Enjoy the gallery of their work below.

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