Storyboards for Students

By | 2016-10-29T11:36:57+00:00 October 21st, 2011|

For today’s FREE Friday, I’m providing you with a fantastic organization tool for your students.  We’ve been so focused on organizing your classroom this week that we haven’t given much thought to organizational tools for your students.  So today, we’re going to take a look at Storyboards in the classroom.

Artists use Storyboards all the time as a way to jot down ideas, take notes, or to quickly sketch out the overall process for a piece.  These are used all the time in music production, visual art, choreography and screenwriting.  But did you know that these Art Storyboards are a great way to help your student to organize their own thinking?

I have a set of Storyboards that I use to help students process various focal points in math, reading, writing and science.  Each looks very similar, but has a different label on the sections of the Storyboard.  In essence, though, the uses are the same.

Students can use these Storyboards to map out the process of a math problem, enrich their writing and sequencing, identify plot, structure, and theme in a story, or to illustrate their use of the scientific method.

Simply choose whichever Storyboard you’ll need for your subject area and have students fill in the blank windows with a sketch that shows the elements of the “shot”, and identify the artistic element that would be used during each scene.  Essentially, they are creating a map of a video to explain the concept you are teaching.  Allow students to have creative license here – they can draw, color, write, whatever in those boxes.  The labels can then be used to go into a little more detail of the image.  However, the real depth to these Storyboards is in what is produced afterwards.

After you have students use the Storyboard to plan and think through the problem/story/etc, then, have them actually DO the problem or WRITE the story.  You will find a depth to their thought process, language use and choice of details that you haven’t seen before.  This is because they are organizing their thinking before they even begin the actual project, eliminating frustration, fear and confusion during the activity.

Have fun with these and let me know how it goes!

Writing Storyboard

Reading Storyboard

Math Storyboard

Scientific Art Storyboard

About the Author:

Susan Riley is the founder and President of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan
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