A Conversation About Media in the Classroom

International High School Class 3: Story Boarding Lesson

Posted by: Danielle Bezalel
Saturday, March 01, 2014

Hey y'all!

Last blog post to catch up so we're finally up to date! This blog post is about our story boarding lesson at International High School with Chris Metzler, in case ya forgot, I'm Danielle Bezalel! Let's get started.

So as I said last week, we left the students with the assignment of drawing 8 pictures of what their shots may look like in their documentary films. One student, Yun Wen, went a step further and not only drew the pictures but actually took photos of her story board! Good job Yun Wen! She wants to make a documentary film about her grandmother and her grandma's baking. With that, we looked at Yun Wen's pictures and put them in a certain order. We discussed it's implications and what type of documentary film it would be--we asked the students: How does this make you feel? This is an example of the type of pictures Yun Wen took:

After we showed four pictures in a row, we added a few more and subtracted some to form a completely new story. The second set of pictures had Yun Wen's grandma and her holding a pan with what she baked inside--making the story more about a person rather than an object. These photos evoked different emotions and had different implications than the other photos!

We then did a group exercise: an example by Chris, Danielle, and Mr. David! We showed a physical representation of a story board of a man waiting for a bus stop, realizing he's late to school, and running to get there. (All four pictures of Mr. David below) Chris was directing and I was the camerawoman.

As you can see, there are different shot types in this example. We also taught the students the difference between extreme long shots, medium shots, close-ups, extreme close-ups and everything in between! The students had fun having their own experience with naming what picture was what type of shot (see Lili doing this on her own below.)

This was a particularly fun lesson and I'm truly looking forward to the students' own photoseries with their 8 storyboard pictures. I'm so lucky to work with Chris and Mr. David--they really care about these projects and want the kids to do as best as they can, learning everything they can along the way!

See you next week :)

P.S: We used curriculum from the SFFS Website: "Documentary101TypesofDocumentaries" and "Storyboard Worksheet"


© 2013 San Francisco Film Society