Tools for Creating an Effective Story

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Students will have experience creating a film and incorporating all of the skills and techniques they have learned thus far within a limited time period.


Students will form groups and create a silent short film.

Expected Lesson Duration:

Lesson is expected to last 2 days.

Interdisciplinary Connection(s) to Common Core

Preparing to Teach this Lesson:

There are no resources necessary for this lesson.

Student Handouts:

Students will again need to use the storyboard template from the prior lesson.

Lesson Procedure:

Introduction/Gain Attention

  • Video of the Day: The class will begin with an activity that will require students to write a brief story about the content or relation of a video presented by the instructor.


  • After the completion of students journal entries the students will listen to the challenge “Tsukanoma no shunkan” (Japanese literal translation is “moment of fleeting” or fleeting moment).

    • Notes: developing a compelling, dynamic, and memorable fleeting moment it should possess:

      • Curiosity, Details,Metaphors, Characters, and Movement

      • All of these tools do not have to used at the same time but all great moments captured on film have these components.

  • The students have one day to develop a script, storyboard and shoot the footage for a silent film.

  • Prior to shooting your film at least one other group must review your groups storyboard.

  • The subject for the film is ____________________

  • One aspect or figure that must be included in the film is_________________

  • STIPULATION: The end product will be in black and white()

  • STIPULATION: No text can be utilized within the film

  • At the conclusion of the first day the students will place their footage in their shared folder and begin editing the second day.

  • Transition from capturing the footage to editing using the ipads

  • Overview of Apple’s video editor

  • Students have the remainder of the day to edit their moments and export them to a digital archive for viewing in the following class.


  • Develop and demonstrate time management skills required to complete a quality product within a limited amount of time

  • Demonstrate adequate implementation of scripts, storyboards, editing software, etc.

  • Ability to adhere to creative stipulations

  • Development of creativity and problem solving skills in adjusting original ideas to adhere to limiting stipulations

  • Exercise and strengthen peer reviewing skills

  • Demonstrate appropriate and insightful constructive criticism

  • Ability to appropriately receive constructive criticism and give genuine consideration to criticism

Content of Lesson

  • Acquiring Key Concepts: applying all skills gained thus far to create a complete 30 second short film. Implementing pre-production techniques such as writing scripts and developing storyboards, production techniques such as filming and editing, and post-production techniques such as peer review and archiving.

  • Engaging in Experiential Learning: collaboratively creating a short film with a group, producing scripts, storyboards, footage, implementing fresh video editing skills, and publishing a completed video/film.

  • Building Proficiencies: implementing all skills relevant to the production of a film to create an adequate finished product. Adhering to guidelines and stipulations

  • Connecting with STEM Professionals: view a video or listen to a professional discussing their process of creating a short film, or view exemplary short films and discuss the strategies/methodologies of the film makers.

  • Assessing Learning: have groups explain what individual members worked on, how their story changed over the process of creating the film, what they found most useful or helpful in the process, etc. Groups can also explain their film to instructors and how they accommodated their films to meet the stipulations.

Closure and Review

  • Reiterate the importance of storytelling in media.

  • The importance of a compelling, dynamic, and memorable story.

  • Digital archive

Higher Level Thinking Skills Noted

  • Why must a compelling, dynamic, and memorable story contain: Curiosity, Details, Metaphors, Characters, and Movement.


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:

How would you have changed or developed your fleeting moment if you had more time?

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 meet the outcomes when fundamental questions about the importance of storytelling and its role in videography 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 can receive feedback on their completed films from their peers and instructor. Students can then share how they felt about the project with their instructor; as well as what they gained from it, how it could have better benefited them, etc.

Other Important Course Development Information

Best Practices:

Exemplary Previous student work