1. GENERAL HEADING: Visual Materials

2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Storyboarding"

3. GOALS: To encourage students to translate text into visual depictions of character, relationships, and moment­­i.e., to stage scenes on paper.


5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: Large sheets of paper and other drawing tools (pencils, colored crayons, or other materials).

6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: Preparations should be done as homework. Presentations can be done in class. Time will vary depending on number and length of presentations.

7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION: Students will be asked to select a short scene to "storyboard" in a series of panels. This can be done in two ways: either in cartoon strip style, with lines appearing in "balloons" above character(s) speaking, or as separate panels in the style of a film-makers method of preplanning camera shots and angles, with corresponding dialogue printed below or above each panel. Because of the detail of thinking and execution involved, the length of the scene should be limited. Students should be encouraged to think in terms of what needs to be seen in the scene­­location, how many people, what props, what is the atmosphere, what is in the foreground and what is the background. How does the picture help tell the story and reveal the action?

8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION: The interpretive responses to this assignment are bound to be remarkably diverse. Part of its effectiveness is that it can illustrate how many different interpretive responses there can be to the same source material. This can be a springboard for extensive discussion. Students learn to take a proprietary interest in making interpretive judgments while at the same time learn to acknowledge differences.

9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Paul Nelsen, Marlboro College. Various teachers employ this kind of exercise.

10. ADDITIONAL READING: A few of Shakespeare's plays are in print in full illustrated versions done in comic strip style. The "complete text" is laid out in serial panels featuring boldly interpretive illustrations. Plays available in this form include Twelfth Night, Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello. Models for "storyboarding" technique may be found in filmmaking texts.

11. VARIATIONS: A single pictorial composition of a key dramatic moment as in painterly representations of scenes from Shakespeare.