Storyboards are often associated with Hollywood, as part of the process of making a movie.  They are a visual medium between the written script and the actual film that lays out the basic events of the plot, or a more focused and more detailed storyboard might outline the events in an action scene.  In fact, a storyboard is just that- a visual outline.  Hollywood didn’t invent the storyboard, though.  That credit really goes back to the creators of cave drawings many thousands of years ago, maybe in a sense perfected by Egyptians in hieroglyphics.

While Hollywood uses storyboards as an intermediate step in a production, and ancient cultures used them as a final product, storyboards in education can be used either way.  They can be used as scaffolding during the writing process, or really for any long-term project, or even as an accommodation fro tasks like science labs.  Or, they can be the end product, a standalone expression of creativity or a means of communicating what students have learned in a very UDL-friendly way.

While there are some platforms like StoryBoardThat which specialize in making storyboards, you don’t need any special tools, because they are so easy to make in PowerPoint.  It’s simple to put a background image onto a PowerPoint slide and then add characters on top of the background.  Duplicate the slide, then move characters around and add dialogue.  When you finish, “print” to PDF, use the 4- or 6- slide handout to print to, and share the PDF with the teacher using whatever digital platform you want.

Here’s a video that lays out all the steps.

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