Create a storyboard for a short video you'd like to make.

If your members will be drawing storyboards by hand, print several copies of this storyboard template. This is a low-tech project in terms of what youth will do. You, however, will have to project some images and videos. It is best to queue these links (found in the activities below) before the session begins. StoryBoard That is a fun way for members to create digital storyboards, so consider creating a free account on StoryBoard That and sharing the login information with your members.

Start your session with a community builder. For suggestions of community builders, download the YDToolbox App 

To build emotional safety and sense of belonging, check in with each member by asking a question like "if someone were to make a movie about your life, what is one scene that would definitely be included? In other words, what is one event that would definitely be included in a movie about your life?" 

 Since this activity asks members to share stories and give and receive feedback, establish or revisit group norms. 




What Are Storyboards? 

Before the cameras start rolling, filmmakers make storyboards. Check out the storyboards below from famous movies. What do you think a storyboard is? Why do you think writers and directors use storyboards before they start filming a movie? Bounce your ideas off a friend or Club staff. 

-- Inside Out
-- Fight
-- Wand

Think of your favorite movie. If you could sketch just two or three scenes to show the most important parts of the movie, what scenes would you draw? What faces would the characters be making? Would the camera be zoomed in for a close-up or zoomed out for a view of the surroundings?

Here’s a challenge: Sketch three scenes from a popular movie and show your drawing to a friend. See if your friend can guess which movie your storyboard is for.

Begin the session with a little challenge. Ask members to think of a favorite movie. Remind them it should be Club appropriate.

Then, fold a paper in thirds. Say: In each section of the paper, draw a scene from the movie. When you are done, turn to a partner and exchange papers. See if the other person can guess which movie it is just by looking at what you drew.

Next, explain that members drew part of a storyboard. Project the examples of storyboards in the section to the left. Then, as a group, watch the video Intro to Storyboarding.

Before beginning the session, you can find out what a storyboard is, and how it is used in learning environments, with Using Storyboards in Education.


Why Are Storyboards Useful?

So you have an idea for a short video. Maybe you even have a script. All you need now is to shoot, right? Well, you could, but what will the scenes look like? And where will the actors stand? And what camera angles will you use?

How could a storyboard help with these questions? Read this article about creating storyboards and jot down what you learn about how storyboards are helpful.
Ask: Why do you think storyboards are useful for people who make videos?
(Storyboards help filmmakers plan, figure out how things will look, give cues to the actors, visualize the video, and plan camera shots.)


What Is Your Story Idea?

Film director Steven Spielberg once said, “People have forgotten how to tell a story.” A movie is a way to tell a story with moving visuals and sound. What story do you want to tell?

Think short. Of course, there are videos of all lengths, but a full story can be told in a minute or even less, like this example from high school students. You can think of a storyboard as the comic book version of a full story. Just a few frames can communicate a lot.

Think of a story you can tell in about a minute. Write down your ideas. Then start to gather them in a story format. If you want your characters to speak, be sure to include dialogue.

Stumped? See if any of the prompts below trigger a story idea.
- What’s a story your family likes to tell about you?
- What would you do if you met your hero?
- What does your favorite animal dream about all day?
- What if your best friend had a secret second identity?
- What if your favorite movie or book had a different ending -- what would it be?

Say: Film director Steven Spielberg once said, “People have forgotten how to tell a story.” A movie is a way to tell a story with moving visuals and sound. What story do you want to tell?

Motivate visual learners by showing them one of these graphic prompts. Or read a prompt or two from this list of 56 Creative Writing Story Starters. Both these types of prompts are super helpful for youth.


Scene by Scene

Create your storyboard. Use blank paper to draw your storyboard, or download and print a template. Or use the online program StoryboardThat. However you do it, the idea is to sketch out the basic visuals for your story. You can add notes, ideas, questions, and/or bits of dialogue. The storyboard is like a blueprint for constructing your video, so include whatever you think will be helpful.

example storyboard

Give members the option to create their storyboards with either paper and pencil or an online program. Give a copy of this storyboard template to the youth who prefer to draw. For those who prefer to create digitally, point them toward the online program StoryboardThat.

You can learn how to better support a range of learners with the article Differentiated Instruction: Developing a Storyboard Classroom.


What feedback are you getting? 

Check out this video to see how the people at Pixar present their movie storyboards. How do you think sharing ideas using storyboards helps the movies?

Present your storyboard to a group of people. Explain what happens in your story using your pictures/drawings and notes. You can even add gestures and special voices to really make your story come alive. Ask the group to contribute their ideas and questions.

How did it feel to present your storyboard to other people? Did anyone share a suggestion that you want to include? How would you like to change or add to your storyboard. Revise your storyboard on last time. 

If you created your storyboard digitally, save it so you can submit it. If you created your storyboard on paper, take a picture of it. Upload your storyboard to earn a star.

Before members share their storyboards, watch Pixar Storyboarding Mini Doc as a group. Before playing the video, say: While you watch, keep this question in the back of your mind: How do you think sharing ideas using storyboards helps the movies? After watching the video, re-ask the question and listen to several members ideas.

Before members share their stories and give feedback, ask members how they want to feel during the feedback session. Challenge them to name the actions that will support those feelings. For instance, if members want to feel encouraged, you might suggest that anyone giving feedback should start with a positive comment. 

Next have members present their storyboards. Ask them to explain what happens in their story using the pictures and notes from their storyboards. Say: You can even add gestures and special voices to really make your story come alive. At the end of your presentation, ask the group to contribute their ideas and questions.

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