Thinking through Storyboards

Thinking through Storyboards

Overview: A “storyboard is the visual presentation of narrative or argumentative sequence through segmented frames that illustrate essential scenes or ideas. In a storyboard, the sequence of the “story” and the viewer’s visual experience crucially shapes understanding, meaning, and reception. By storyboarding, writers can conceptualize central ideas in terms of shots and sequences. This activity asks students to create a storyboard so they can articulate how each sequence contributes to the overall story line, identify potential problems in the “big picture,” and share ideas for feedback.

Activity title: Thinking through Storyboards

Author: Raechel Lee, adapted from material by Sohui Lee

Activity Brief Description: Students are asked to create storyboards for a quick slideshow presentation. This activity could be used as an early- or mid-stage drafting exercise, as well as for studying an essay/presentation.

Course: PWR 1 & 2

Activity Length & Schedule: up to 60 minutes. Duration and schedule depend on goals and learning outcomes.

Activity Goals: Goals vary depending on how the activity is integrated, but students will likely

  • Focus on the big picture view of the story by working on narrative unity and transitions
  • Consider the effectiveness of the narrative from the audience’s perspective
  • Envision different approaches to narrative or argument by engaging it in a new mode

Activity Details: See slides introducing storyboards and handout for a sample activity. (PWR instructors only: Canvas log-in required) 

This activity was first presented at the 2014 September Sessions — original handout (intended for PWR instructors) available here