Creative Writing on an Historical Event Using an Ipad and the Comic Life App
Week of: April 11, 2016
Lesson # 1 of 5
Trail of Tears
Essential Question
Why were the native people of the US forced to move from their homes in the South to the deserts of the West? What can we learn about this sad event?
Lesson 1
Technology Component – Writing a story in Comic Life
Lesson 2
Research facts using the Trail of Tears app
Lesson 3
Inputting images and text into our story
Lesson 4
Writing Dialogue using speech and thought bubbles.
Adding sound words to our story for greater drama
Lesson 5
Saving and publishing our work
Today’s Focus Question
How do we create a story using Comic Life?
Teaching Points
(SS Content)
  • Students will analyze primary source documents (maps, treaties).
  • Students will identify the sources of conflict between American settlers and the Cherokee Nation.
  • Students will outline the events leading up to the forced relocation of the 1830’s.
  • Students will research treaty agreements between the US government and the American Indian tribes.
Teaching Points
  • Students will write a graphic novel, presenting key facts about the “Trail of Tears”.
  • Students will learn the key components of a graphic novel.
  • Students will expand their vocabulary.
Teaching Points
  • Students will create a digital product on an iPad, demonstrating their understanding of SS content.
  • Students will learn to use a new iPad app called Comic Life.
  • Students will expand their keyboarding skills.
CCLS Standards
WHST.6-8.6 – Use technology to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
CCR 6.0 – Use technology to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
RH.6-8.7 – Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
“Today, we will explore an event in US history, called the “Trail of Tears”. This event brought tragedy to the native people of the southern US. We will create a graphic novel about our findings, using maps, images and text. We will publish our work to the school wikispace.
  • Comic Life app on iPads
  • Images of the Trail of Tears (digital – hosted on Dropbox)
  • What do we already know about the Trail of Tears? KWL
  • What do we want to know about it?
  • What have we learned so far?
  • Let’s start by downloading the images we will need from Dropbox.
  • Let’s decide on which tribe we’d like to explore.
Group Work
On iPads

(15 min)
  • Now let’s go to the Comic Life app.
  • Teacher models each step in creating a template, inserting an image, adding text, resizing text, adding speech bubbles and inserting avatars.
  • Working directly on each page, student create a graphic novel, with assistance from teacher..
  • Write down the ipad number.
  • Save your work.
Pre-Assessment: KWL Chart
Formative Assessments: Thumbs up, thumbs down & KWL Chart
Summative Assessment: Rubric on final graphic novel

Graphic Novel Template
Trail of Tears Graphic Novel Template

Historical Research
Chief JohnRoss Painting.jpg


TofT Timeline 1 pix.png

TofT Timeline2pix.png

Indian Removal Act 1830

Indian Removal Act pix.png

Determining the Facts - Lesson Plans

FACTS by Tribe

Trail of Tears - Cherokee - FACTS pix.png

Choctaw Facts Pix.png

Creek - Facts - Pix.png

Trail of Tears - Chickasaw FACTS - pix.png

Trail of Tears - Seminole - FACTS - pix.png

Eye Witness Accounts

Political Cartoon

Historical Caricature of the Cherokee Nation.jpg

Click on the text to access the Library of Congress website.