Lesson Plan: Introducing Storyboards (1 of 3)

Last updated: January 24, 2013

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Technology Level: Tech Enhanced

This lesson is part one of the Storyboards Mini Unit

Audience: Ages 14-18

Duration: 70 minutes


To introduce students to the storyboard genre, including techniques that are used by the media.

Prior knowledge

Storyboards are a great way for students to plan projects such as TV commercials, short films/plays. They are also an excellent tool to assist students in analysing film and television, deconstructing the way that producers ‘set up’ media in order to present a certain view point or opinion.


  1. Access to the Internet for students. Maximum two students per computer.


  1. Lesson Plan
  2. Student Handout: Introducing Storyboards

Please note:

  • Lesson 1′s Student Resources will be called Part 1,
  • Lesson 2′s Student Resources will be called Part 2, and
  • Lesson 3′s Student Resources will be called Part 3.

Accessing the resource online will save you time and money (photocopying) as well as the environment!

NB: You WILL still need to photocopy Page 3 of this Lesson’s Resource 2 (Student handout). This page is titled: ‘AHA! Original Video Concept’. Students will need to cut these images out to use in their storyboards. If you have a printer available in your computer lab, you could have the students print it off on the day.


Lesson Procedure
Topic Notes
1.Introduction (10 mins)  
1.1 Introducing Storyboards(5 mins)

1.1 Introduce students to the concept of storyboards and their use in society. Suggested questions to establish prior knowledge:

  • How do you think people plan media items such as movies, TV advertisements, video clips?
  • Think about your favourite movie or film clip. How do you think this was created? What is the starting point for something like this?
  • Some actors earn thousands of dollars an hour- how can people ensure that they won’t be wasting time when filming begins with poor lighting/set design/stage directions? They make a storyboard!

Write on board (students make notes):


When a director is making a film, they plan out the story in picture form. It looks a bit like a comic strip. This is called a storyboard.

  • A storyboard is a series of pictures and words that help the director to visualise the film. It also helps to guide the filming schedule.
  • Each picture is drawn in a frame. Basic shot details and dialogue will be included.
1.2 Role Play(5 mins)

1.2 Today we are going to learn more about the practical use of storyboards. So to do this we are going to participate in a role play. You are going to assume the role of a creative writer in a marketing company and then create a storyboard specifically for a client!

2.Body (55 mins)


2.1 Storyboards(25 mins)

2.1 Hand out Resource 2 – Introducing Storyboards Read the first three paragraphs together as a class.

Discuss what they think about the ‘things that you can consider’ section. Establish prior knowledge.

Depending on your students abilities, you may choose to go through the individual techniques as a class or have the information about these techniques available for students as a resource to assist them. Activities at the end of the next lesson will require students to have a basic understanding of these techniques in order to complete.

NB: You may like to play a scene from a well known movie or video clip that demonstrates some of these techniques if you have time. A clear example is Spiderman.

Scenario 1: First Proposal

Working for a marketing company in the media department… Each student read individually the first scenario. Refer students to the research that they will need to do on page 2, the ideas from AHA! on page 3 and the lyrics on page 4. Discuss and have questions.

2.2 The Beatles(5 mins)

2.2 ‘Help’ Beatles 1965.

Teacher can choose to play the original ‘Help’ song from the Beatles for those who might be unfamiliar with the song.

2.3 Background Research(25 mins)

2.3 Students undertake research on AHA! using the Internet and answer the questions on page 2 of their handout.

3. Conclusion (5 mins)


3.1 Discuss findings (5 mins)

3.1 Class discussion about their findings on AHA! What are some of the key points of this company that you will need to know in order to gain their business?

Curriculum Links

Curriculum Links for this lesson
Key Learning area Curriculum link
English – Essential Learnings by the end of Year 9

Speaking and Listening

The purpose of speaking and listening includes examining issues, evaluating opinions, convincing others, and managing relationships and transactions.

Reading and Viewing

Readers and viewers draw on their prior knowledge, knowledge of language elements, points of view, beliefs and cultural understandings when engaging with a text.

Comprehension involves drawing on knowledge of the subject matter, contextual cues and intertextuality to interpret, infer from and evaluate texts in local, national or global contexts.

Writing and Designing

Writers and designers refer to authoritative sources and use a number of active writing strategies, including planning, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, publishing and reflecting.

Language Elements

Auditory, spoken, visual and nonverbal elements, including the use of sound fades, dissolves, cuts, hyperlinks, camera angles and shot types, can be combined to position an audience.

Suggested Homework Activities

Sketch a series of shots from the various camera angles using a plush animal as your subject. For example, place your soft toy in a large area on a stool or chair. Sketch what the subject as it would look from the various camera angles.

Suggested Extension Activities

Students can head out in to the school ground to sketch a series of Camera Shots of the one subject to demonstrate their knowledge of Types of Camera Shots.

For example, they place an object (their ‘subject’) in the middle of the school oval. Then from the furthest distance they can get, sketch an Extreme Wide Shot (if possible), then move in closer to establish a Very Wide Shot and sketch, then move in a little closer each time to take a Wide Shot, Mid Shot, Medium Close Up, Close Up and Extreme Close Up.

Suggestions for Adapting this Lesson for Lower or Higher Year Levels

Younger students could focus more on the concept of the storyboarding writing process and less about the techniques implemented within them. This way they still will be learning about the drafting and editing process of advertisements etc, without having to delve into the kinds of techniques used by marketing companies.


Adler, Rebecca, Alliance for Humane Action (AHA!), www.ahaworks.org.au, November 2008.


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