Wednesday 25 April 2018

Exploiting StoryboardThat for Language Practice

StoryboardThat is a great tool for getting students to think visually and create picture stories and narrative.

Students begin by clicking on 'Create Storyboard'. They can then select background scenes for each of the frames of their storyboard.

Next they select characters. There's a really wide range and variety of characters to choose from and once these are on the storyboard they can be changed using the editor.
Students can then add text elements such as speech bubbles and thought bubbles and write in their text.

Once the storyboard is complete there are some interesting options for sharing and exporting. You can export as images for PowerPoint, Download to print, embed the storyboard into a site or blog or launch it as a slideshow directly from the site.

StoryboardThat is a great freemium tool. On the free account you can create and save two storyboards each week. If you want to become a serious user though you'll need to pay for an account, but accounts for educators are very reasonably priced.

Be sure to check out the Teacher Resources section of the site. You can find lots of great examples and lesson ideas there. Many of these are based around literary classics and you can simply adapt and customise the ready-made storyboards. Here's an example from 'A Christmas Carole' by Charles Dickens.

Quick Classroom Suggestions
  • Create flashcards of a storyline and get students to make a dialogue and write the story.
  • Get students to create storyboards of stories they write.
  • Create a storyboard with dialogue to get students to practice reported speech. You could create two versions of the storyboard one with only character A's dialogue and the other with only character B's dialogue, then get students to work in pairs and tell each other what the characters said.
  • You can create a the first three frames of the story and get students to work in pairs and create the next three. They can then exchange their three frames with a new pair and do the next three frames of each other's stories.
  • You could give students a storyboard with a dialogue and then ask them to imagine or add thought bubbles to show what the people are thinking about each other while they are talking.
  • You can create a storyboard with two characters and only include the dialogue from one. Then get your students to write in the missing dialogue from the other person.
I hope you enjoy these ideas and think of others to use with your students. If you'd like to find more activities like these check out my ebook -  20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

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Nik Peachey