Activity Overview

Discussion storyboards are a great way to get your students talking about their ideas in science. They allow students to critique and evaluate different viewpoints without upsetting other students. This activity can be used at the start of the topic to identify and dispel any misconceptions students may have.

At first, show students a discussion storyboard like the one above. Ask them to look at the problem presented in the first cell. The following cells show four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. Students should think about whom they think is the most correct and be prepared to explain why that person is correct. Students might support their position by creating visuals, including text and images, on Storyboard That. These visuals can easily be exported as PowerPoint slides.

After students have prepared their argument, have your students discuss their ideas. This discussion can be carried out in a range of different formats. Students could discuss in pairs, small groups, or even in a teacher-led, entire class setting. It is important to agree on a list of discussion rules with students before they start so everybody gets a chance to participate. Students will also be able to practice adapting their speech to a formal debating context and can demonstrate their grasp of formal English.

Here are some other ideas to use these discussion storyboards in your lessons.

  1. Students add another cell on the end of the example you’ve given them to explain whom they think is correct and why.
  2. Students create a storyboard to describe why a student is incorrect, and then "teach" the concept.
  3. Students create their own discussion storyboards to share with peers on the current topic.

Note that the template in this assignment is blank. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", add your desired problem and solutions to match the needs of your students.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Read the discussion storyboard that shows four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. You are going to give your opinion on whom you think is correct and explain why. You will use your created storyboard to engage in discussion with your peers.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Add another cell at the end of the row.
  3. Use text and images to explain whom you think is correct and why.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Group

Type of Activity: Discussion Storyboards

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/1] Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/2] Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/3] Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/4] Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/5] Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/7/6] Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Discussion Storyboard
Read the discussion storyboard showing the students looking at a problem. Add a cell to the end of the storyboard and describe who you think is correct and why.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Who do you think is correct?
You have selected a person you believe to be correct and explained why.
You have selected the person you believe to be correct.
You have not selected a person you believe to be correct.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

More Storyboard That Activities

Basic Cells

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