Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Making Movie Storyboards
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Inspired by PBS' documentary film series, REEL NY, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the importance of images in telling a story in film. Students analyze movie clips and identify some visual cues that help them understand the story. Then they learn to identify close-up versus wide shots and think about how each is useful to visual storytelling. Using an interactive Web site, students learn the importance of shot sequence in conveying meaning. They then work collaboratively to storyboard a passage from a book they are reading and finally present their storyboards to an audience in the form of a PowerPoint slide show. At the screening of their PowerPoint “movies,” the visual storytellers field questions from the audience regarding their work.

Grade Level:
Grades 3 - 5

Time Allotment:
Six 50-minute class periods

Subject Matter:
Visual Arts

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify cues that help visual storytellers communicate with their audiences.
  • Distinguish between wide shots and close-ups, and understand how each contributes distinctively to visual storytelling.
  • Understand how the sequence of frames in a storyboard affects the story the frames are conveying.
  • Work collaboratively to translate a written story into a visual one.

Visual Arts, Level 2, Standard 1: Understands and applies media, techniques and processes related to the visual arts &StandardID=1
Knows how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques and processes are used to communicate ideas, experiences and stories

Visual Arts, Level 2, Standard 2: Knows how to use structures (e.g., sensory qualities, organizational principles, expressive features) and functions of art &StandardID=2
Uses visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

This lesson was prepared by: Brandon G. Kiggins