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Ellie Engle Saves Herself

Ellie Engle Saves Herself

Twelve-year-old Ellie’s complacency with living her life in the shadow of others changes after she develops supernatural powers after an earthquake.
Ellie Engle Saves Herself

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Ellie Engle loves all comic books. Talk with students about what they imagine a comic of Ellie getting her superpower would look like. Ask them to share what kind of directions for drawings they would have. After discussing, ask students to imagine their own first day with a superpower and have them use the comics form to tell their story.

After students decide on their superpower and how they got it, have students outline and sequence their story, deciding on the setting, characters, and what they see as the beginning, middle, and end. Their story will determine how many panels they might need in their comic, but they should plan on at least six. 

Once they have the basic parts of their story and know the amount of panels they will use, have them write a script for their comic, deciding which parts of their story are text and which parts are pictures. Students who do not wish to draw can stop with a script, while others can map and lay out their comic into panels. Students should sketch their panels first, making sure they have enough room for both the images and text that tell their superhero origin story. When students have completed their comics, encourage them to share their work with their classmates.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. What kind of a friend is Abby? Would you be friends with Abby? Why or why not? How would you deal with how Ellie and Abby are growing apart and the changes that are affecting their friendship?
  2. Why do you think Bree, Sammy, and Ellie connect as friends? How do they complement one another? What are Bree’s strengths as a person and as a friend? What are Sammy’s? What are Ellie’s?
  3. Why is Abby so obsessed with social media and celebrities? How does she handle Ellie going viral? How does Ellie handle it? How does social media influence you and your relationships?
  4. What is unique about Ellie’s relationship with Mr. Walker? How do Ellie and Mr. Walker support each other? 
  5. Ellie has superpowers, but does that make her a superhero? How does Ellie save herself? How is saving yourself heroic? Why are self-love and self-acceptance so important?

Related Resources

Leah Johnson Talks Ellie Engle Saves Herself
Comic Book Scripting Techniques from ReadWriteThink
Storytelling Through Comics from Pop Culture Classroom

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