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What is the Cycle Layout?

Storyboard That has several different layouts available for you to choose from. The cycle layout is an option that gives users the ability to show sequences or processes that often repeat, but do not necessarily have to. Depending on how many steps there are to the cycle that you are showing, you can add as many cells as you need.

Cycle Layouts Help You:

  • Organize information
  • Sequence events
  • Create a visual representation of the steps of a cycle or process
  • Summarize each step of the cycle or process

Breaking Down the Cycle Layout

The top cell is considered the first cell, and the progression or sequence continues in a clockwise direction. As with all of the storyboard layouts, the cycle layout can include a title and a description, just one of the two, or neither. This gives the teachers and students a total of four different layout options and opens up new possibilities by adding different tiers of information and difficulty. The layout can also accommodate anywhere between three to ten cells, which means it can be used for so many different projects.

Using Cycles in the Classroom

The cycle layout is perfect for presenting information in a way that shows steps or stages that flow into the next; each section of the chart represents a key point in the process or cycle. Teachers may have students create a storyboard from scratch using the cycle layout, or they may have students complete a storyboard that has already been partially filled out. This allows teachers to scaffold assignments with ease.

Social Studies

Social studies and history might not be your first thought when it comes to this layout, but it's perfect for showing the process of things, like the rise and fall of civilizations or how a bill becomes a law!


Science is all about cycles and repeating processes, especially with younger students. Students can display things like the phases of the moon, scientific process, the life cycle of a star, and more with a cycle diagram!


There are many ways you can make a book come alive with various activities that use the cycle layout. Plus, students really love coming up with their own stories and creating accompanying visuals with the Storyboard Creator! Cycle charts are great for poetry studies, character evolution, mapping the hero's journey, and more.

Foreign Language

Images are the same across all languages! Integrating visual images with learning a new language can help reinforce vocabulary and syntax. One great way to use it for world language classes is to have students create a conversation using the cycle layout.


Cycle maps are the perfect way to teach students the process for solving mathematical problems of any kind. Having a clear visual of the steps that need to be taken will help students remember what comes next.

Applications for Special Education

Storyboard That is a fun tool for everyone in the classroom, but may be particularly useful for students on IEPs and 504 plans. Graphic organizers serve as a way to structure or guide a student's thinking. The cycle layout is perfect for sequencing and digital storytelling and helps students understand repetitive processes and events.

Students and teachers can incorporate pictures, colors, and text into their graphic organizers. For students who struggle with fine motor skills, the ability to show their thinking digitally allows handwriting and drawing ability to become irrelevant. They don't need to stress about extra elements of an assignment. All students end up with a graphic organizer they can look back on later, and will be something they can still understand.

Here are a few additional ideas on when to use a cycle layout storyboard for special education:

  • Keep track of a character’s journey in a story
  • Create visual vocabulary boards
  • Use Storyboard That instead of a pencil and paper assignment
  • Create boards for games, rewards, and communication needs
  • Keep track of different routines throughout the day

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