Storyboard like a Pro on iPad

 Student voice is important for engaging and empowering students. Students need to learn how to use their voice to express their opinions, share their story and advocate for others or themselves. Students come from diverse backgrounds and are eager to tell their stories. The whole industry is benefitting from this diversity of voice. When voices are being heard, people start listening. When people are listening empathy, understanding, and caring start to happen and change can occur. A challenge for students is gaining their voice and learning to simplify their message to clearly tell their story.  

Storyboarding is a tool used in visual media to plan shots and camera angles to help frame and  highlight the important characters, props, or actions happening.  Storyboarding can also be useful for students to show their ideas in a simple way.  Often when students create a story they are so engrossed in the details that they spend too much time worrying about it and forget the main focus that they are trying to convey.  After planning their storyboards,  students can create a movie or animation.

In our CREATE Program at Sisler we use Procreate on iPad. It is a great app to express creativity and produce a storyboard. 

Lesson Activity:

  1. Students will be given a 4 arc story - introduction, development, twist, resolution
  2. They create one storyboard for each arc of the story within a set time usually one minute.
  3. They will then choose one of those storyboards to refine. In this way students are able to focus and show their main idea before working on adding more detail.

This activity can be applied across the curriculum for students to share their knowledge and stories across different subject areas, ages and grades at any time of the year including a fun back-to-school activity.


CREATE program storyboard for an animated short
Early years student storyboard on the water cycle

Below you will find some resources to help you with this activity.

  • A Keynote presentation that gives an overview and highlights the steps on using Procreate, going through the lesson to create a storyboard and refine one frame of the storyboard.
  • A quick start video on getting started with Procreate
  • A video on how to animate on Procreate

My Links:

Checkout our CREATE program





10 replies

June 11, 2023

Love a storyboard for helping students organize their ideas in the planning process! Something I really like in your post is the idea of quickly sketching out each phase of a story and then moving into a second phase of choosing one section to really focus in on details. I think this process would be helpful for students who get hung up on details to first just get all their ideas out on the page, knowing that there is time set aside to focus in on refinement as well. Thanks for sharing! The CREATE program as Sisler looks amazing!

June 14, 2023

Bernard, storyboarding feels comfortable for so many students. What a great way to ensure representation by empowering students to construct their narrative.

Live seeing Sisler’s CREATE program in the spotlight!

June 14, 2023

I love how storyboarding can be use to plan out a story and as a science teacher I love the example with the water cycle example. This provides a great and tangible way to do STEAM in any classroom

June 14, 2023

This looks great! I can see myself using this as a first week of school activity next year. Getting students to create is always a great way to get to know them! I love the idea of the timed quick sketch to get the main ideas's like a Quick Write but with pictures. Sounds so simple yet I feel that it will make all the difference. Thank you so much for sharing!

June 14, 2023

Bernard, thank you so much for sharing! I love the breakdown of storyboarding each of the narrative elements separately. Sometimes students overflow with too much detail to have one single frame for the beginning, middle, end structure. I have many takeaways from this post - congratulations on your work being celebrated at Sisler! Hope to cross paths again soon!!

June 14, 2023

Bernard, I use Procreate with my digital art students but never thought about using it this way in other subjects! I love the idea of moving this into Science, Socials, ELA and even Math! Thanks for the great ideas and the resources - I will be using them. And by the way? I want to go to school at Sisler!!!

June 15, 2023

Bernard, congrats for your work! Storyboarding has always been one of my favorite ways to lay down ideas, for a video or music project, build a pacing or even prototype an app or website, etc.. Visual planning is processed much faster by the brain and helps the students understand and synthesize the task at hand. Thanks for sharing and the students at Sisler are very lucky!

June 15, 2023

I loved that you grounded this activity in student voice and enjoyed seeing how diverse the stories. I loved the iterative process of the task as well, that the students are given opportunities to refine their storytelling with the help of storyboarding in Keynote. Thank you for sharing Bernard, it's amazing that Sisler has the CREATE program for students!

June 15, 2023

I love how you are using storyboarding to simplify what is in a student's mind. I can see myself teaching my grade 2 students to storyboard for a short amount of time before they write a story for example. It will help them set their ideas before the actual writing part. Thanks for sharing!

Also, Sisler's CREATE program is a great way to empower students! Good job!

June 16, 2023

This. Is. Incredible! Love the multiple applications this can have for all avenues of storytelling - I’m thinking about the possibilities for student self assessment and evaluation to chart their learning journeys at specific times of the year or to explain their thinking and process through their designs in my fashion design classes as part of their university portfolio applications. So many opportunities here and the concrete examples you share and stories from Sisler are so inspiring! I am motivated more than ever 💕

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