The more we podcast and have our students create video clips or other digital storytelling projects, the more we need to teach storyboarding as part of the process. Being able to pre-visualize how your story will unfold is becoming a vital skill to have for storytellers.
Storyboards are defined as:
Graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence, including website interactivity.
In the book by Roger Essley “Visual Tools for Differentiating Reading & Writing Instruction: Strategies to Help Students Make Abstract Ideas Concrete and Accessible”, he says
Storyboarding, or picture writing, is the origin of all written languages, used by ancient cultures before text evolved and as a natural bridge to text. The Chinese language was built using pictographs. Egyptians used storyboards, or hieroglyphics, first etched in stone and later written on papyrus, to organize a complex society and to rule the ancient world.
Pre-Writing is defined as
Pre-writing is the first stage of the writing process, typically followed by drafting, revision, editing and publishing. Elements of prewriting may include planning, research, outlining, diagramming, storyboarding or clustering.
I have experimented with several storyboarding tools, from the paper and pencil method to iPad apps. Students and I are both finding the creation of the storyboard extremely helpful as we are collaborating on creating podcasts and movies.
I created a Word Doc, that is easily edited with the title of the storytelling project and printed out to be distributed to students. (Download the Word Doc Template)
We have also asked students to directly use their writing journals to storyboard their ideas for a script. Students use their storyboard to write their script in sequence and to supervise and help as we edit the movie together.
One of my favorite places to create a storyboard together with the students in on the SmartBoard. We use the Notebook software to draw the different scenes that will need to be filmed and which actors will be participating in each scene.
The following storyboardÂ was also created with the SmartBoard Notebook. This time we used screenshots to illustrate the images we were imagining for the green screen background replacement.
We printed the storyboard out for all students to have and to use as they were going to write their parts of the script. It helped them understand their individual role in the collaborative whole of the story. Once we finished recording the script (which often happened to be film completely out of sequence) , I made it a point to involve students in the editing process.
As the storyboard area of iMovie was displayed on the projector, students were using their paper storyboard printout to help me drag and drop individual video clips in the correct order , add sounds,Â transitions and text. The storyboard made it possible to pull all the individually written scripts and out-of-order filmed video clips into a coherent sequence.
I am just starting to experiment with storyboard apps on my iPad. I am sure similar apps exist for the Android market or other tablet computers.
Storyboards Premium allows you to create a background scene, insert actors and text.
StoryPages HD allows you to draw your own board and add text in a different pane. You can move different pages in order on the page grid and email the final board as a pdf file.
How about inviting the Art teacher at your school to teach a lesson on storyboarding techniques to your students?
For more examples of storyboarding, take a look at the following article and posts:
- R.Alfonso’s blog EETT & Making Movies
What Are Storyboards?
Storyboarding, or picture writing, is the origin of all written languages. Storyboards are widely used because we know pictures combined with text offer a rich synthesis of information that can entertain and inform. The pictures in picture writing can be simple cartoons, photographs, or sophisticated technical diagrams. This technique can be an invaluable tool when differentiating reading and writing instruction….
Differentiated Instruction: Developing a Storyboarding Classroom
Tips on how to use visual tools, such as storyboarding, to differentiate instruction in a reading program….