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Storyboarding in multimedia broadcast


Students will learn about all aspects of storyboarding and continue learning about the pre-production phase. Students will learn why they should storyboard, how to storyboard, basic rules about camera placement, the rule of thirds, camera movements, how to scout a location and how to cast talent or cast members. Students will also put the newly learned material into practice.


  • Students will identify what a storyboard is, its purpose and use.
  • Students will relate the 180 rule to a real scene.
  • Students will illustrate the rule of thirds and review basic camera shots.
  • Students will analyze camera movements and published storyboards.
  • Students will outline features of a good shooting location.
  • Students will select and scout a location at school.
  • Students will interpret ways to successfully cast talent.
  • Students will apply material to develop multiple storyboards.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.


Three weeks or approximately 15 50-minute classes


Handout: 180 rule graphic

Handout: Storyboard template

Slideshow: Storyboarding

Storyboarding quiz and key

Rubric: Basic idea storyboard

Rubric: Camera movements assignment

Rubric: Shot type review

Rubric: Storyboard analysis

Rubric: Storyboarding research assignment

Digital camera/ cell phone/ tablet with camera

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Introduce students to the concept of storyboarding and show students a blank storyboard template while explaining the elements.

2. Present — 30 minutes

Discuss with students the reasons to storyboard. Take time to demonstrate to students the difference of reading about each shot in a script and seeing it drawn on paper on the board. Ask students to write simple screen directions on the board and then ask a second student to draw the scene as they envision it. Ask the first student to discuss if he/she envisioned the scene looking differently.

Then, discuss with students how crew members who might not be as invested as the script writer could benefit from the visual reference.

Discuss with students that everyone has different drawing abilities, and that there are individuals that are paid to draw storyboards for a living — but that does not mean they cannot attempt storyboards, even if they use stick figure drawings.

3. Follow-up and take-home exercise — 10 minutes

Give students a very basic story idea. For example, a thirsty student goes to the water fountain to get a drink. Instruct each student to attempt storyboarding this action as homework due the following day.

Day 2

1. Think-pair-share — 15-30 minutes (depending on class size)

In groups or pairs, ask students to compare and contrast the storyboards that they created for the action of the previous day. Each group should prepare a small presentation that they will use to tell the class about the strengths and weakness of each of the group member’s storyboards.

2. Discussion and slideshow — 20 minutes

Use the slideshow to demonstrate different elements of storyboarding and camera movement. Show the 180 rule graphic and explain its meaning. Try to make sure students understand the jarring effect it can have if the camera jumps from one side of the line to the other when video is edited together.

Discuss the rule of thirds by first showing the image in the slideshow, and then drawing it on the board. Be sure to show different versions of the rule of thirds to ensure that students understand the concept of nose room or leading room.

Discuss and differentiate the different basic camera movements: pan, tilt, pedestal, dolly and trucking.

Introduce the idea of location scouting for different scenes. Students should understand elements that can make great scenes or hinder them (lighting, sound, busy backgrounds, access, etc.).

Ask students to discuss different possible locations that they can scout at their school.

Day 3

1. Review — 10 minutes

Review the previous information to ensure that students have a firm grasp on the material. You can use the storyboarding quiz as a formative assessment at this time.

3.  Follow-up & Exercise — 40 minutes

Split the class into small groups with digital cameras. Size depends on the number of students/ equipment that you have at your disposal.

Using a digital camera, cell phone or tablet, instruct students to explore the school, grounds or close area (depending on your regulations) to scout for locations (and take pictures) that will be available to your students.

This can be extended an extra day depending on the amount of space that you have to cover. You can also split or assign each group to cover different parts of the school in order to save time if it is needed.

Day 4

1. Think-pair-share — 50 minutes

As a class, discuss each image that they gathered and build a scouting location resource or database for students to refer to. This can be done by creating a PDF, using a free website or by printing pictures to hang on your classroom wall. For each location/ picture create a list of pros and cons that affect it. For example, lots of traffic noise, very dark without lights, high traffic area, etc. This can be done as a class using a projector, or you can split the task into small groups and walk around as students work together.

Day 5

1. Building background — 15 minutes

Introduce the concept of choosing or casting talent. Many students will traditionally be left with whomever they can get or is willing to help them. In this section you should encourage them to plan ahead and look for the best possible talent.

Things that they should consider when casting:

  • Does the person fit the goals of your show or scene, does the person’s physical stature fit the scripted role?
  • Can the person speak well if needed?
  • Does the person have the availability that you need to accomplish your goals?
  • Does the person have the proper attire for your production needs?

Discuss that high school students can sometimes be unreliable and that if they choose to wait until the last possible moment to film, it is possible that the person might let them down.

2. Follow-up and practice — 35 minutes

Split the class into small groups depending on the number of students and equipment that you have. Students will complete Assessment 2. Have the student create a small plan to demonstrate the 180 rule, rule of thirds, pan, tilt, pedestal, dolly and trucking. They should then begin to storyboard this small scene.

Day 6

1. Follow-up and practice — 50 minutes

Students should spend today finishing their storyboard if they have not already. Then, they can create a simple video that demonstrates all of the previously listed disciplines and movements.

Day 7

1. Follow-up and practice — 50 minutes

Students should have completed their storyboard and moved into the production phase at this point. Timing and completion will depend on the amount of students/equipment.

Day 8

1. Follow-up and practice — 50 minutes

Programs with high equipment-to-student ratios should be wrapping up the production phase of the Basic Rules and Methods project today. If students do complete production, have them immediately begin editing their work in the post-production phase in the event that you have a limited amount of computers.

Day 9

1. Follow-up and practice — 50 minutes

At this point students should be finishing the Basic Rules and Camera Movements assignment.  If needed, extend the time allotted to fit your classroom’s needs.

Day 10

1. Foundation review — 10 minutes

Review and introduce the Shot Type Review & Visualization assignment from the slideshow.

2. Follow-up & take-home exercise — 40 minutes

Students should all create a storyboard that demonstrates two students sitting in the cafeteria at your school.

Students should include the following shots inside of their storyboard: wide shot, medium shot, close-up, extreme close-up, long shot, over the shoulder and point of view.

Remind students that after students are introduced to new concepts, such as camera movements, and the 180 rule and the rule of thirds, they often forget to take the time to compose good shots. This should be represented in a storyboard if they have not been doing it so far.

Day 11

1.  Building background — 10 minutes

Now that students have created a number of storyboards themselves, reintroduce the idea that there are individuals who create storyboards for a living. In front of the students, complete a quick Internet search of storyboarding examples.

Point out the camera movements and camera shots that are represented in each professional example. If possible, bring in a DVD that has an “extra features” section that looks at the film’s storyboard.

2. Think-pair-share — 40 minutes

In small groups, complete the storyboard research assignment which asks students to collectively select their favorite five storyboards that they were able to find online. Then students should create a short presentation they will demonstrate to the class. They should point out camera movements and camera placements just as they have thus far through this unit.

Day 12 (adjust as needed)

1. Exercise — 50 minutes

Students should continue and finish their Storyboard Research Presentation. Adjust time according to the size and equipment of your class.

2. Presentations — 50 minutes

Students will present their presentations to the class. Allow for discussion after each presentation.

Day 13

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Introduce student to the idea of reverse analyzing films that have already been created.  That is, they will try to understand what the director was thinking when he blocked out his shots, planned camera movements and chose different locations. This time, students should also list dialogue that is spoken in the scene. Consider showing a clip or two so students can understand how scenes cut on dialogue.

2.  Application — 40 minutes

Students analyze a scene that they have selected by either viewing on YouTube, bringing in a DVD/VHS, or you may need to bring in some DVDs on your own.

Day 14

1.  Exercise and take home — 50 minutes

Students continue and finish working on the storyboarding analysis. Students should take home storyboard to finish if they can not complete in class.

Day 15

1.  Building background — 10 minutes

Review your scouting location database and discuss areas that might be considered ideal for a two-person, sitdown interview. Remind students that this could be one of the easiest times to accidentally break the 180 rule learned earlier in the unit.

2. Think-pair-share — 20 minutes

In groups of two, select a location and sketch out the scenario of a two-person interview with three cameras. As a pair, the group should come to an agreement that helps the director understand just how this interview should take place.