2nd Grade Storyboarding/Scripting Introduction

2nd Grade Storyboarding/Scripting Introduction



  • Time frame: Approximately 30-45 minutes a day for 18 days
  • Format: Face-to-face
  • Author: Rachel Teasley

This is a lesson plan intended to be an introduction for 2nd graders to learn about incorporating story elements into script, storyboard, and short film. The purpose is for students to demonstrate their understanding of characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. This lesson will take awhile for students to complete, but this is intended for students to have an understanding of playwriting and how comprehension fits into the arts of film. 

Background for Teachers


  • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of storyboarding, script writing, camera angles, and how to cite sources for videos. These will be important for you to know because you will be teaching them to your students in order for them to create their own scripts and storyboards. Below, I will include links to videos that will be helpful for you. I will also include these videos within the lesson plan to show to your class, as well as include the citation for these resources on the bottom of this lesson plan in the citation group.
  • You will need knowledge about key people/concepts/vocabulary/formulas before teaching this lesson, including what a storyboard is, as well as tools in iMovie, such as tools for editing videos, deleting or adding audio, adding in subtitles and transitions, and how to include a citation list at the end. These will be important concepts for you students as well when they begin the filmmaking process, however with this specific lesson, you will be the only person who needs to know these tools in iMovie.
  • Additional academic vocabulary students should know: playwriting, script, character, plot, conflict, resolution.
  • The following video resources can help you teach this topic...citations are included on the bottom of this lesson.
  • The Basics of Storyboarding in Under 5 Minutes 
  • Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival
  • 4 Framing and Composition Techniques for Beginners 
  • iMovie Basics: Video Editing Tutorials for Beginners
  • Citing Sources


Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students can describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
  • Students can use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will know they are successful when they can create characters for short story, and describe how those characters overcome a conflict in the story that they create.
  • Students will know they are successful when they can develop a storyboard, based upon the script they created, and demonstrate the connection between the characters, setting, and plot and what their illustrations show in their storyboards.


Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of characters, setting, and plot. They should be able to discuss what characters are like on the outside (how they look, what they do) and what characters are like on the inside (what their personalities are like, what they are thinking or feeling). Students should be able to not only identify a setting a story, but go in depth. The should know the place, time of day, and what the environment (weather) may be like in the setting or settings in their story. Students should have mastered what happens at the beginning, middle, and end of a story. In addition to the sequence of events, students should understand where the conflict and resolution should be in a story arc of a plot.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

  • Prior to this lesson, students should have practice activities identifying the characters, setting, and plot from stories with their teacher. There should be visual examples to support diverse learners, so they can see and hear the academic vocabulary being used prior to this lesson. For example, make sure to read a few picture books out loud to the class. Write the following sentence frames on the board: The characters are _________. The setting is _________. At the beginning of the story, __________. In the middle of the story, _____________. At the end of the story, ____________. The problem in the story is ____________. The resolution in the story is ____________.  
  • Depending on the academic levels of the class, precision partners can be used to support students who may need a partner to support them with the sentence frames and the examples. The teacher can do a few picture book examples out loud with the class, then move to partners reading books together and identifying the reading concepts together. This is a great opportunity to also remind the students to go in depth about the characters, setting, and plot.
  • The following anchor charts have been attached and sources have been cited for use and scaffold for all learners: characters, setting, plot

Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

DAY 1: Teacher will review characters and reference the anchor chart. The teacher will go over story elements, starting with how stories begin by introducing the characters and describing how they are like. The teacher will come up with two character examples on the board, and list characteristics about the two characters. For example, the teacher will draw a quick picture of a boy and a girl. The boy will be labeled Jesse and the girl will be labeled Camilla. The teacher will draw clothes on the boy, explaining what the boy is wearing. The teacher will do the same procedure with the girl. Afterwards, the teacher will label personality traits about each character, like Jesse is always grumpy and he feels annoyed all of the time, and Camilla always has a smile on her face and feels happy. After the class has designed two characters with the teacher, the teacher will partner students off into precision groups of 3-4 students. The teacher will give each group a blank piece of paper, and ask students to create 3-4 characters together for their script. Students will work together to complete the blank sheet. The teacher will walk around to monitor groups, making sure all students are contributing and working together. When students have finished, all of the groups will come back to the carpet. The teacher will write this sentence frame on the board: The first character is ___________. __________ is wearing __________ and feels ____________. The second character is ___________. __________ is wearing __________ and feels ____________. The third character is ___________. __________ is wearing __________ and feels ____________. The fourth character is ___________. __________ is wearing __________ and feels ____________.  Each student in the group is required to speak, using the sentence frame and the illustrated picture in front of the class. When all groups have presented, the teacher will collect all of the character papers from the groups.

DAY 2: Teacher will review setting and reference the anchor chart. The teacher will go over story elements, and go over how the setting is often described and illustrated at the start or beginning of a story. The teacher will draw a setting on the board, and call on students to describe the setting. This will be a warm-up. After the teacher has done this for 5 minutes, they will call up students and give them a setting to illustrate on the board (in secret). The other students in the class will be given this sentence frame: The place of the setting is _____________. The time of day is __________. The environment or weather is ______________. Students will practice using the sentence frames to describe the setting that their classmates draw on the board. After about 10 minutes, the teacher will have students come back to their precision groups. The groups will be given their character sheets. Students must pick 1-2 settings for their short stories. They must draw the desribe their setting on their sheets next to their illustrations. When all groups are finished, they will be called back to the carpet, and the teacher will pick one student in each group to use the sentence frame and show their setting illustrations. When all presentations have been shown, the teacher will collect the character and setting sheets. 

DAY 3: Teacher will review plot and reference the anchor chart. The teacher will go over story elements, and go over how the plot needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. Before students think about a beginning, middle, and end, the teacher will ask students to think about their favorite books. Teachers will ask the class what the main problems where in those books, and how the problems were solved. The teacher will then go over conflicts that happen in common movies, such as Finding Nemo and Cinderella. Students will share the conflict and resolution in those stories too. Students will then get back into their groups. They will also have their character and setting sheets passed back to them. The teacher will have groups brainstorm what they would like the conflict and resolution to be in their short stories. Once groups have those established, they will orally talk about the beginning, middle, and end of what will happen in the story. Students will not go in depth, they will just have a general idea of what the plots will be in their stories, and when the conflict and resolution will occur. Students will share their group ideas on Flipgrid, and the class will view each group's ideas for their short stories. The teacher will monitor and facilitate conversations, making sure all students are participating and feel heard.

DAY 4-5: Teacher will play the video Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival (link included in the Background  Knowledge section of this lesson plan) and discuss the major story elements that are mentioned in the video. Teacher will have students in their groups and pass out their character and setting sheets. Teacher will also pass out a blank sheet of lined paper, and the playwriting template (the template is attached to the assessment portion of this lesson plan). Teacher will display the template on the projector. Students will fill in the title, authors, and characters on their lined paper, making sure their format matches the format of the template. Students will be able to reference their characters sheet if it is needed. Students will then fill out their setting information on their lined paper, and again follow the outline of the format from the template. They will also use their setting sheets as support for this area. After groups have all of those areas finished, the teacher will have students start discussing what they would like their characters to say and what dialogue they should be using. Students will work together in their groups to start forming the beginning of their stories. When groups get finished with their beginning, they will show the work to the teacher to read over and make sure it makes sence, and that the sequence is in the right order. If any groups are lacking support, the teacher may need to sit with a group and offer a scaffold about sequencing with the group to support them. Once groups have the beginning checked off, the teacher will have them start the middle. This same routine will be repeated for the end of their stories as well. The teacher will make sure all of the story elements are covered in detail, and that the script matches the outline students have recorded on their Flipgrids. The teacher will extend this to another day if it is needed.

DAY 6-7: At this point, all groups should have their short story scripts completed and checked off by the teacher. The teacher will play the video The Basics of Storyboarding in Under 5 Minutes as well as 4 Framing and Composition Techniques for Beginners. The class will discuss the use of the camera angles to create a shot, as well as the importance of using a storyboard to match a script. The class will go into their groups, and start creating their storyboards. The teacher will remind students that the story they have created should match the illustrations they are making in their storyboards. Students will also need to write a brief description of what is going on in each scene of their storyboard, so the teacher can align the scripts to the storyboards for each group. Students will also reference the rubric for their storyboarding, making sure they are including all of the requirements from rubric.The teacher may extend this to another day, depending on how groups are doing and if they need additional time. 

DAY 8: Students will review their scripts and storyboards. They will make sure they do not need to add any additional elements to their work. Students will correct their own scripts and storyboards in their groups, using the rubrics and a blue pen. When all students have completed their corrections, the groups will switch scripts and storyboards with another group. That group will then correct another group's script and storyboard, using the rubric, but with a different color pen. The last rotation will be with the teacher. The teacher will collect the scripts and storyboards, and correct them using the rubric with one last final color. Each of the groups' rubrics should end up having three colors on them and three different grades, one by self, peer, and teacher. 

DAY 9: Students will receive their corrections back and make corrections that are suggested from the rubrics. Students will then turn in their work.

DAY 10: Teacher will go over the importance of digital citizenship this day, and explain the importance of citing sources from books and computers. Teacher will also play the Citing Sources video and have a discussion with students about the importance of crediting someone who created something, and using their work. Teacher will show examples of how to cite photos, videos, and a story, and ask students how this relates to making scripts and storyboards. Students should be able to take away that they cannot copy a movie that has already been made, or a script that has already been made. They also should take away that they cannot copy another person or another student's work from this discussion.

DAY 11: Students will discuss how they would like to bring their stories to life through filming. They will talk about who will have what part in their stories, and where they should stand while looking at their storyboards. This will be a planning day for groups to decide how they want their short stories filmed, but it should match their scripts and storyboards.

DAYs 12-17: Teacher will begin the filming process for all groups. This will take several days. Teacher will also edit videos to match the vision of each of the groups for their final films.

DAY 18: Viewing party. Each group will celebrate by showing their final films to the class. The class will discuss and reflect on the experience. They should think about if it was easy or hard to follow the plans from the scripts and storyboards, if they look at filmmaking differently given all of the tools needed to make a film, and what they would do differently next time.


Step 4 - Assessments

Step 4 Assessments

Formative Group Assessment #1: Identifying characters in their short stories. Teacher will be able to see if students described what their characters were like on the outside and what they were like on the inside. Teacher will also be able to see which students need additional support with this acitvity.

Formative Group Assessment #2: Identifying setting in their short stories. Teacher will be able to see if students described what their setting was like, i.e. the environment, place, and time of day. Teacher will monitor which individual students have this mastered. 

Formative Group Assessment #3: Identifying conflict, resolution, and plot. Teacher will be able to watch the Flipgrid videos to determine which groups were able to come up with a general idea of what they want their beginning, middle, and end of their short films to be like. Teacher will also be able to see if students included a conflict and resolution in the story. 

Summative Group Assessment #4: Final scripts. Teacher will read over final scripts and make sure each script has the story elements, such as characters, setting, and plot, included in their stories. Students must also follow the plans they created together when designing their script, and they must follow the rubric guidelines for a completed script. 

Summative Group Assessment #5: Final storyboards. Teacher will look at storyboards for each group to make sure the illustrations align with the story elements mentioned in the groups' scripts. Teacher will add comments or additional supports for groups who are missing elements from their rubrics.

Final Film Example

This is a project I have completed of my very own storyboard and script. 

As you may notice in the link, my students are acting out the roles of the characters. This is an example of what a final film can look like once students have completed their final assingments for their storyboards and scripts!


LINK to Final Film: The Case of the Missing Marbles


Title Image: “Tripod Vector Svg Icon.” SVG Repo, https://www.svgrepo.com/svg/86503/tripod.

The Basics of Storyboarding in Under 5 Minutes: “The Basics of Storyboarding in under 5 Minutes - Film Camp for Kids & Youth Free Class Tutorials.” YouTube, YouTube, 11 Feb. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHjgwqcj62E.

Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival: “Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival - Middle School Video #1 (‘How to Write a Play’).” YouTube, YouTube, 23 Mar. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chw5Z2DoIrI.

4 Framing and Composition Techniques for Beginners: “4 Framing & Composition Techniques for Beginners | Photography & Video Training.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 Sept. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKM3jkEOpuE.

iMovie Basics: Video Editing Tutorials for Beginners: “IMovie Basics: Video Editing Tutorial for Beginners.” YouTube, YouTube, 21 Apr. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF2mUJ0P3xU.

Citing Sources: “Citing Sources: Why & How to Do It.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Aug. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JV9cLDCgas.

Storyboard Template: Free Free Storyboard Template - 8 Panel | Education World. https://www.educationworld.com/tools_templates/template_strybrd_8panels.doc. 

Playwriting Template: Script Template | Education World. https://www.educationworld.com/tools_templates/template_script.doc.

Characters Anchor Chart: Staake, Jill. “12 Character Traits Anchor Charts for Elementary and Middle School.” We Are Teachers, 8 July 2022, https://www.weareteachers.com/character-traits-anchor-charts/. 

Setting Anchor Chart: Staff, WeAreTeachers. “49 Anchor Charts That Nail Reading Comprehension.” We Are Teachers, 13 July 2022, https://www.weareteachers.com/anchor-charts-that-teach-reading-comprehension/. 

Plot Anchor Chart: Unknown. “Anchors Away Monday (Plot).” Chalk Box Tales, http://chalkboxtales.blogspot.com/2014/09/anchors-away-monday-plot.html.