Storyboarding is an excellent way to prepare for the multimodal assignment. It can help students clarify the focus of a project and visualize how they will represent their ideas through different modalities. Storyboarding also saves time during production and editing because students have developed a plan for what they need to find, create and compile.
While storyboarding has been traditionally associated with films, it can be applied to all types of multimedia projects: videos, podcasts, websites, presentations, posters, and more. This activity introduces the concept of storyboarding and then asks students to create a storyboard for their own project. Two different storyboard templates are provided, as well as additional information and options for storyboarding methods.
Primary Learning Outcome:
- Develop a plan for creating and sharing a multimedia project and describe the rationale behind those choices in terms of the project’s medium and audience. (4.4)
Additional Learning Outcome:
- Evaluate how the tone, medium, and intended audience of a source impact the delivery of a message, particularly when creating one’s own multimedia project. (4.3)
- Traditional Storyboard Template [pdf] [word]
- Vertical Storyboard Template [pdf] [word]
- Printable Activity Plan [pdf] [word]
Introduce storyboarding as a concept and show an example of a storyboard on the Multimedia Literacy: Video guide. Emphasize that this will help them with all phases of the project by developing a structure and visualizing their ideas. One does not need to be a skilled drawer to create a storyboard; stick figures are fine!
Direct students to the Multimedia Literacy: Video guide for resources on creating a storyboard- specifically the American Film Institute’s Storyboard Glossary of Common Film Shots. Encourage them to think about camera angles, shot composition, perspective, sounds (narration, music, background noise) transitions and text for their storyboard.
This activity provides two storyboard templates that are more geared towards video projects and presentations, but there are many other ways to create a storyboard.
- Google “storyboard templates” to find different versions to suit your needs.
- Don’t feel limited to paper- whiteboards and post-it notes can be great!
- Try using a storyboarding website (StoryBoardThat -free and paid versions), free storyboarding software (Storyboarder) or a free app for your smartphone or tablet (Storyboard Animator– iOS only).
- For websites and infographics, have students sketch the layout of their project.
- Encourage students to use a storyboard template or method that works for them and addresses their project needs.
Consider making this an in-class activity or homework; it can be used as a check-in point to ensure students are engaging with the planning phase of the project.
This activity works well in conjunction with the Multimedia Project Planning activity. Students can work on identifying different types of multimedia they need to find or create, and then complete a storyboard.
- American Film Institute’s Storyboard Glossary of Common Film Shots
- Penn State’s Guide to Storyboarding
Questions about this activity? Contact Amanda McCollom and Jessica Barth.
Storyboarding by Amanda McCollom and Jessica Barth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.