Introduction to Digital Storytelling

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After a friendly icebreaker, the students will dissect a television show of their choice and decipher the roles, while having a brief discussion about general character roles and character development. As the student begins to grasp the concepts in storytelling roles in digital media the students will break off into groups and develop a story from an individual image. The students will share their stories with their groups and compare and contrast their views and how their experiences have shaped their views.


This lesson introduces students to the importance of Storytelling. This Introduction serves as the Unit kickoff for imagery viewing storytelling from that lens.

Expected Lesson Duration:

Lesson is expected to last 2 days.

Interdisciplinary Connection(s) to Common Core

Preparing to Teach this Lesson:

Student Handouts:

There are no handouts for this lesson as it is project based.

Lesson Procedure:

Introduction/Gain Attention

  • Icebreaker: The class will begin with an icebreaker activity that will stir conversations and or questions (ex: Two lies and a truth).


  • After icebreaker the students will begin to share favorite tv shows

  • Upon reveal of shows choose a few and have the students dissect them

  • Transition from a video medium to imagery and move into next partition

  • Single picture assignment: selecting an image from the book attached, one image per group

  • Ask the students to work in groups to write an essay about one of the selected images, describe the parameters of that essay, placing emphasis on writing well in the future.

  • After the students have completed their respective essays, they will share contrast and compare their stories in their group.

  • As the students share their stories, a discussion should be encouraged about how that individual drawn those instances from the image and what experiences that individual encountered in order to derive the story.

  • After each student has shared their story and the experiences that shaped their story, with their respective groups, the students will then write a short instance of what they have learned about each other from those stories.


  • Able to begin identifying roles and character types in literature and film/media.

  • Understand the importance of narrative reasoning skills and why they should be developed.

  • Narrative reasoning skills are introduced as students justify their decisions and consider the decisions of their peers.

  • Emphasis is placed on the importance of writing well.

  • Demonstrate ability to produce quality work by working both collaboratively and individually.

Content of Lesson:

  • Acquiring Key Concepts: discussion of character roles, types, and development and how to identify these terms in media in any given medium.

  • Engaging in Experiential Learning: identifying the concepts discussed in examples of tv shows and videos.

  • Building Proficiencies: using skills from previous discussion and activity to work with a group in developing a unique storyline from a random image.

  • Connecting with STEM Professionals: view a video interview with a director or writer in which they discuss the concepts focused on in class.

  • Assessing Learning: have groups explain the methods they used to complete the storyline for their given image. Also allow groups to compare their storyline and steps taken to those of other groups in class. Ask if students are able to identify the concepts of character roles and development in the stories their classmates created.

Closure and Review

  • Reiterate the importance of storytelling in media.

  • Explain the importance of diversity in the storytellers and writers due to experiences and how it shapes our stories.

  • Digital archive

Higher Level Thinking Skills Noted

  • Developing a story from artifacts of an image of unknown origin.

  • Aren’t we already going to have diversity?

  • Diversity vs Individuality?

  • Hamilton and its success.


The art and skill of storytelling that will be practiced in this class will help the students reasoning skills, cognitive constructive capabilities, and develop character. The creation of a narrative requires the student to develop a logical order from a sequence of events. In order for the student to develop a meaningful arrangement of events the student must begin to grow their narrative reasoning skills. These skills can evolve through the consumption and dissection of narrative literature, of a mixed medium. While developing of their narrative reasoning skills the students should/ will become more empathetic to others, wise to deciphering the true purpose of the story, and become comprehensive thinkers of their own circumstances. The students are finally at the age in which they are beginning to construct their own narratives. We, as educators, want them to be exposed to a great diversity of narratives in order mature those narrative reasoning skills. The more developed their narrative reasoning skills are the more they get from a story (deeper perspective). The more advanced their skills, the more likely they are to rationalize why this character chose a particular path, place themselves in the characters shoes, and develop their own character.

Explorations and Extensions:

Research the image find out what the real story was and compare your story to the ones in your group. Was anyone close? Where they close based upon similar circumstances (age, ethnicity, location)?

Assessment Criteria for Success:

Content knowledge, student knowledge, and appropriate resources are aligned to instructional outcomes. student learning will be assessed throughout the lesson via question responses and correlation to the project.

Students will have successfully met the outcomes when fundamental questions about the importance of storytelling and its role in imagery can be observed through their writing and reflections of their peers work. Also questions about their current disposition are taken into consideration when they see media should begin to arise. Also a fluid and respectful use of time, along with an essay that is fluid, easy to follow, and retains its essentials as an ELA.

Modifications/Accommodations and Access for All:

A simpler version of Imagery and storytelling is already prepared if there are students that need to re-review the information. Also, if students need an alternate assignment due to their personal disposition to the material, alterations will be easily made.

Implementation Feedback:

Students will receive feedback from their peers and instructor while they are sharing their story with their classmates. Students can then share what they felt about the project with their instructor; as well as what they gained from it, how it could have better benefited them, etc.


To be completed upon the end of lesson.

Other Important Course Development Information:

Best Practices:

Exemplary Previous student work: