Dhanaraj Keezhara
HOD Art and Visual media, AYV Lead Educator

How to be a Creative story board in six easy steps

Lesson Plan Published 3/22/15 Last updated on 3/2/20

How to be a Creative story board in six easy steps

Step 1. Form an idea:

According to the children, this was one of the three most difficult steps in the process. The idea can be as simple as a trip to the market or as complex as a war. But the only condition is that the idea should be your own interpretation, opinion or story of something.

Step 2. Form your characters:

Obviously, the idea has to be conveyed by someone. Hence, create your characters. Children picked inanimate objects, plants, animals, humans, the sun, the moon, extinct species etc. to tell their tale. They made half-page sketches of their main characters, focussing on their appearance, attire and quirks to help them keep the characters recognizable throughout the story.

Step 3. Create your story:

The characters will need a way which leads to the grand or subtle unveiling of your idea. Thus, you create your story with a narrative arc. The narrative arc can be gripping or bland, convoluted or prosaic, lengthy or short; any form you feel is necessary for your idea. Children felt that it was easiest to create the story in the form of a list first and then fill it with additional details. While some simply wrote down the story, others made rough sketches of it.

Step 4. Convert story to frames:

Not unlike a film, you need to decide what to show your reader. Break down your story to track the movement of your character and his/her/its progression. Bear in mind that the background is just as important as your foreground. The foreground is used to tell the story and the background is used to set the stage. Children made rough sketches of the frames and decided what they would keep in the foreground and what would be kept in the background. They proceeded to fill in the details into their characters and the stage to make them seem more alive and real.

Step 5. Pack a punch

You can do that in three steps:

  1. Arrangement: Decide which frame comes first and which comes last to make the story as interesting as possible
  2. Panelling: Increase or decrease the size of your frame based on importance
  3. Colour: if you’re doing a black and white strip, use streaks of colours in frames that are important for the story. If you’re already doing a coloured strip, make the colours bolder in important frames.

Step 6. Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Continue to work on the frames, panels, sketches, story and character until you feel that the idea has been delivered satisfactorily.

  • Premiere Pro

    Edit media in its native format and create productions for film, TV, and web.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

  • InDesign

    Craft elegant layouts at your desk or on the go.

ISTE Standards
Students: Creative Communicator, Students: Computational Trainer, Students: Knowledge Constructor
CC License
5 / 5 • 4 Ratings

Comments (2)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

Adobe Education

Posted on 5/13/15 6:12:25 PM Permalink

Hi Dhanaraj,

I agree with Anita, while the steps you give in the body of the post are great, it would make this a truly great resource if you created a lesson plan, with perhaps a storyboard template, that other members can download in order to re-create this in their own classrooms. It looks a lot of this was done by hand, which is great, but perhaps you could detail when and where other educators could have the students use software for a particular piece of the project. Finally, you could also consider leveraging some of the technical tutorials other members have posted or that we've posted for others to teach students any necessary skills. Just some ideas...

The AEE Team

Anita Bhatty

Posted on 3/28/15 10:38:29 PM Permalink

Hi Dhanaraj,

I would like to use your lesson for 4th grade students. Once they have finished sketching their story board, how should I proceed? First I need to do the lesson. I need your assistance to give me steps to follow since I don't know much about Photoshop or the other programs you have indicated in the lesson.

Would appreciate your help, thanks.