OTAN Training Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2003
click, hold and drag on one of the corner handles. (Dragging a side,
top or bottom handle will cause the image to distort.) Release your
mouse when the outline is the right size for your image.
When you select the graphic, if the handles that form in the corners
and on the sides are solid black, it means you have an “in line” graph-
ic, which means it will want to stay “in line” with your text. (See Figure
3) In order to be able to move it around freely, you need to change this
format. To do so, right click the graphic and choose Format Picture
from the resulting menu. Choose the Layout tab and select Tight from
the wrapping style options. Now click once, somewhere on the docu-
ment, but not on the graphic to “deselect” it.
To create the speech callouts, we will use AutoShapes. You will ﬁ nd AutoShapes on the
Drawing toolbar. Click the down arrow next to the word AutoShapes and point to Call-
outs . Now choose one of the callout shapes. (The one that looks like clouds is considered
a “thought balloon” and is used for thoughts rather than spoken words.)
A “Create your drawing here” box (also known as a Drawing Canvas) will probably ap-
pear (unless someone has turned it off) and the cursor will change into a crosshair. To
draw the speech or thought callout, click, hold and drag the crosshair cursor in a diago-
nal manner on the Drawing Canvas to form the callout. If you want more than one callout,
go ahead and draw them all now. Our example has three callouts. They do not have to be
the right size or shape, just get them on the canvas.
Now click, hold and drag the graphic to the center of the page so you will have room for
the speech balloons, then click, hold and drag on each callout to place them roughly
where you want them. Do not worry about their size and shape right now. We will adjust
that after we add text.
Click once inside the balloon (you should see the blinking text cursor now) and add
text. If you cannot see some of the text, you may need to resize the callout just as you did
If the pointer on the speech callout is not pointing the right direction,
click on the edge of the callout so you can see the yellow square at
the end of the pointer. (See Figure 4) Click, hold and drag the yel-
low square to where you want it. (Usually speech callouts are point-
ed near the person’s mouth and thought callouts near their head.)
If your creation seems crowded, turn the document to landscape ori-
entation by going to File > Page Setup > Margins tab > Landscape.
It will give you more horizontal room. Make any ﬁ nal adjustments to
spacing etc. and you are done!
For those that want to be more creative, free comic book fonts are available at this Web site:
This idea for an activity was based on a workshop presented at the CUE Conference in March
2007 by Barry Bakin who teaches at Los Angeles Uniﬁ ed School District – Division of Adult and
Continuing Education. Thanks Barry. To see some comics done by Barry’s students visit: http://esl.