FVR Cartoon Library Starter Kit

Easy, enjoyable reading for World Language Classes

(C) How can I add my own cartoons to the online database?!

After “asking” a story with a class I will typically write the story out on the board during class with their participation, take a photo of the story before the next class enters and then, during a prep period or after school, I will write the story into a cartoon template. Here is an example of the first page of a non-illustrated cartoon story based on a story that I co-created with my Spanish 1 students:

Over the course of a week I will collect several un-illustrated cartoons from class stories. On Thursday after school I photocopy them all and then, on Friday in class, I give a random copy to each student to illustrate for homework over the weekend. It works best if period 1 gets random per 1 stories, per 2 gets per 2 stories, etc., so that students are merely re-reading what has already been made comprehensible in class. On Monday they will return their work. Many are okay, demonstrating that they understood the reading, but inevitable 10-15% of them are FANTASTIC and deserve to be added to our FVR Cartoon Library.

All languages are welcome.

Click here to get started!


** Good reading quotes curated by Bryce Hedstrom; click here to see his presentation on light reading.

18 comments on “(C) How can I add my own cartoons to the online database?!

  1. bryankandel
    May 27, 2014

    Love the idea, and I’d love to be a part. I have a couple short novels written, and I hope to spend some time this summer developing/editing them and possibly writing more. Do you have guidelines in mind for the books? Number of pages? Number of words? Number of unique words? Even if the ones I have so far do not fit with what you have in mind, I’m sure that my classes and I can create good stories and participate with you. I look forward to keeping in touch on this and seeing what it becomes.

    • mpeto
      May 27, 2014

      I have not made any guidelines because this is a new process for me… I cannot pretend that I am an expert. I have two books, the first is only 600 words (20 pages with lots of illustrations) and the second is around 3000 words (40ish pages, smaller font but still a lot of illustrations). I think between 2000 and 3000 will be fine, but I will gladly accept anything. My stories have a lot of student-drawn illustrations in an attempt to bring the reader into the story. I am trying to learn how to reach that sweet spot of compelling with limited vocabulary for the low-intermediate readers… hopefully I will be able to attend Karen’s novel-writing webinar that she was talking about on the moretprs yahoo group.

  2. bryankandel
    May 31, 2014

    I think that my two completed books are about 5,000-6,000 words each. I wrote them for my Spanish 3 students, so they are a bit specific to us/advanced, but I think they could be useful to others. I’m really hoping to attend Karen’s webinar too. I’m hoping to have my books and some other writings I’ve made edited by native speakers at some point. One thing mine are lacking is culture. I know that integrating culture is very important to most writers/teachers. Mine are pretty much just silly stories.

    • mpeto
      June 1, 2014

      Silly stories are great! FVR should be easy, fun reading… especially if we develop class libraries where students choose what they want to read. I am really excited to read your work… I´ll get to work formatting them right away so that they fold into books that we can easily put together! My book Superburguesas has so many illustrations that it is ALMOST a graphic novel; I think it will work well as independent reading for lower level reading. I am still honing my ideas for a third novel that I will write this summer, but I am looking at the teen fiction section in Barnes & Nobles and am considering writing something less silly than the two I have published on this site.

  3. Alisa Shapiro
    June 19, 2014

    How about elementary level/appropriate stories? Do you have any yet? There are so few stories out there for grades K-6…i have a few created this yr (but Alas! not student-illustrated!) and will try to send in to you this summer. Do you make a glossary and/or table of target vocab so T’s can scan/pre-teach target structures up front?
    Love your initiative and hope to contribute.
    Thx so much,

    • mpeto
      June 19, 2014

      Good ideas! I am going to start labeling by intended audience (I am a high school teacher so all of my stories involve content interesting to HS students), but I have heard from other elementary teachers. As for glossaries, it depends on the person who writes it. I have included glossaries in the two novels that I posted and I think it is a good idea.

  4. Melissa Sadler
    July 25, 2014

    I am interested in this process and am thinking that this might be a great project for our Spanish club.

  5. Diane Chamberlain
    September 13, 2014

    So my AP class wrote a chapter for a Science Fiction Book we were reading. Would this be appropriate?

  6. cenciba
    November 25, 2014

    Hi Mike. I like your idea about doing the 5 minute backstory writing to keep interest up during a class. How do you keep the kids inbounds with their ideas during this time? Thanks! Laura

    • mpeto
      November 25, 2014

      When we do quick writes I tell them that the main thing that will bring down their grade (actually, pretty much the only thing) is using English. These back stories are not the same thing as a quick write, but students tend to just follow the same rules in all of their writing.

  7. Wendy Organ
    August 6, 2015

    Have you acquired a group of French teachers yet doing the FVR novels? If so, sign me up!

  8. Marcela Casco
    February 21, 2017

    Do you have a list of the books you have in each section?

    • mpeto
      February 21, 2017

      We have teacher created cartoons, and there is an index that you will have access to once you have submitted your first non-illustrated cartoon that has been created with a class

      • Marcela Casco
        February 21, 2017

        Gotcha, I’ll be sending you one soon. Thank you!

  9. Marcela Casco
    February 28, 2017

    Hey, I sent you my story but didn’t hear back. Did you get it by chance?

  10. Sra. Loso
    April 22, 2017

    My Spanish 2 class just finished a story inspired by Martina Bex’s story, “La Madre de Jason”. Is this considered an “original story”? If so, it’ll be my first submission to the FVR Library.

    • mpeto
      April 22, 2017

      It depends upon how closely inspired it is… please try sending it to Martina first and asking her. She is super-accessible and I think she would really appreciate that you asked before submiting it. Knowing Martina, even if she feels that your adaptation is too close to her original story, I am sure that she will value your integrity for asking.

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