Minds On

How to create

Before authors start to write, they need to create a plan. They might record voice notes, use a brainstorming web, or design concept art. Access the following video, “Creating a Pandemic Children’s Story,” to learn about author Nicole Crimi’s process for creating her children’s book, “Patty and the Pandemic.”

Student Success

Think-Pair-Share

After you finish the video, reflect on the following ideas:

  • How did the author come up with her idea?
  • What method did she use to plan and develop her story?
  • Where did her inspiration come from?
  • How did the author ensure the scientific information presented was current and correct at the time of publication?
  • Will the book make a difference and change people’s perspective?
  • How did the author hope to help or inspire others?

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

Action

Storyboards

One of the ways an author can plan out and visualize their storyline is creating a storyboard. Storyboarding often consists of a series of small drawings that go along with a little bit of writing. It is a helpful way to map out and organize the sequence of events and supporting details.

Storyboards should include notes or information about the different elements of a story such as:

  • plot structure
  • character
  • setting
  • conflict
  • point of view
  • theme

Explore and review the following sample storyboard. Where can we find the different elements of story here?

Creating a storyboard

In this activity, you will create a storyboard to plan out your own story. Use an existing idea you have or come up with something new.

Make sure that your storyboard includes the following story elements:

  • plot structure
  • character(s)
  • setting
  • conflict
  • point of view
  • theme

Student Success

Think-Pair-Share

Use the following fillable and printable 8-Frame Storyboard Template to create your storyboard. You can also make your storyboard in your notebook. For each frame, make sure to include a picture and a short description.

8-Frame Storyboard TemplatePress the ‘Activity’ button to access 8-Frame Storyboard Template. Activity(Open PDF in a new window)

Share your storyboard with two other people for feedback, if possible. If not, edit and proofread your own storyboard. Consider the following questions as you reread your work:

  • Are all the story elements included?
  • Would a future reader understand what your story is about?

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

Consolidation

Writing a story

Using your storyboard organizer and the feedback you received to turn your ideas into a story! Choose one of the formats below:

  • picture book
  • short story
  • short film

Think about your story frame by frame. Using each section of the storyboard, what might that be like as a whole scene? Will there be dialogue? How will you describe the setting and characters?

Write the first draft of your story and submit it to a partner, trusted adult, or teacher for feedback. Use that feedback received to revise and publish your final draft. Would you like to include this finished work into your portfolio? Why or why not?

Reflection

As you read through these descriptions, which sentence best describes how you are feeling about your understanding of this learning activity? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel...

Now, record your ideas using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.