Good writers are not born; they are made. Producing a quality piece of writing - whether it be a novel, a screenplay, a poem, or an editorial - takes time and effort. There are many different formulas for the writing process, but the basic steps involve prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Good writers who follow these steps can ensure a product to be proud of.
Storyboards can be wonderful support in the writing process. Naturally, the storyboard software cannot fine-tune sentence structure or proofread for weak diction, but it can provide a helpful platform for developing and presenting ideas. Writers can turn to the rich pool of graphics for inspiration and the varied layout styles for organization. Storyboard That is particularly well suited to help with the prewriting stages, but it can also serve as a medium for drafting and even publication of your final product.
*Tip for Teachers: Use storyboards to teach the writing process itself. Adapt the storyboard above to your classroom needs. Consider turning it into a worksheet by printing off the images with empty text boxes and asking your students to fill in the steps and descriptions.
Often the process of getting started on a writing project is the most challenging part. Brainstorming can be daunting for those confronted only with a blank page. Instead of writing down ideas, consider using pictures to conjure up a story or sort out an argument. Simply drag and drop pictures as topics come to mind, or browse through the images and scenes for ideas. For more brainstorming space, increase the cell size of the square. Storyboard That’s vivid graphics will help bring your thoughts to life!
The various layouts that Storyboard That offers make useful tools for organizing and presenting ideas. Depending on the genre of your writing project, the storyboards can function as prewriting tools, preliminary drafts, or even published versions of your work. Continue reading to learn how storyboards can support each of the four different kinds of writing: narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.
Storyboards are excellent for preparing narrative stories, either with a brief story outline in the form of a plot diagram or with an extended graphic depiction of the story using as many squares as necessary. The traditional storyboard layout is perfect for narrative writing. The first sample below demonstrates a basic plot outline for a personal narrative. This functions as a helpful prewriting guide. The second shows a piece of a lengthier graphic novel. In the latter case, the storyboard itself is the final product.
*Tip for Teachers: Have students submit a storyboard plot outline for their narrative assignments before drafting. This is a quick way to assess the logic of their story arcs and suggest necessary changes before students have invested too many writing hours.
Storyboards can also be adapted to facilitate descriptive writing practice. Build a highly detailed scene or upload an image of your own and use the visual aid to prompt descriptive details. Add text boxes to brainstorm possible descriptive details to include in a your draft. The storyboard below shows a sample scene with a focus on three types of sensory details.
*Tip for Teachers: Design a scene to emphasize particular sensory details you may be practicing in class. Then ask students to describe the scene with as much imagery as possible. Vary the activity by having students describe a single example of imagery in multiple ways or requiring them to use figurative language in all of their descriptions.
For something like a step-by-step process paragraph, a storyboard row or column is the best layout. This arrangement provides a simple way to present an illustrated tutorial or instructional overview. Transfer it easily to a PowerPoint to present to a group.
*Tip for Teachers: Get students to practice using appropriate transitions by adding a transitions text box to the top of each square.
To organize persuasive or expository ideas topically, a spider map is helpful. This visual cluster is ideal for planning out broad topics in an essay or specific supporting examples in a paragraph. If the storyboard represents only a paragraph, the textual explanations beneath each illustration can easily be joined together with transitions to create a unified passage.
*Tip for Teachers: To facilitate strong essays, have students design storyboards with supporting examples for just a single paragraph, then share their ideas with the class. This way, students will view a variety of suggestions for their own essays.
After brainstorming and planning out your ideas, you may find that Storyboard That is the perfect place to display them to your audience. Download your squares as slides in a PowerPoint or print out your projects like pages in a comic book or instructions manual. If these options don’t suit your needs, simply use storyboards as a guide while you move on to another publication medium. Whether storyboards are just stepping stones on your writing journey or the end goal, we hope they can make your writing process a more enjoyable experience.
If you want to bring the writing process offline, or create digital worksheets for your students (especially if they need some guidance on outlining or pre-writing), you can create your own worksheets! We put together templates to get you started so you can get your students writing right away!