Back to School Activities with Storyboard That

By Anna Warfield

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Using Storyboard That in the Classroom

During the first few weeks of school, it's important to acclimate students to using computers independently. It's also important for you as the teacher to get to know your students and give them an opportunity to express themselves creatively. Storyboard That can help you familiarize students with the use and protocols of technology and allow you to get to know students at the same time.There are tons of ways to introduce your students to Storyboard That with digital storytelling projects!

Of course, all students don't need to do the same project. Everyone has a different experience each summer: camps, staying home, travelling, family vacations, beach trips, going to the movies, hanging out with friends, lounging at the pool, and LOTS more. Below, you'll find fun ideas for storyboard projects that you can do at the start of the new school year. If you want to extend the fun, we also have ice breaker activity suggestions!

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Goals for the Year

A new year means a new you! Visualize goals that you or your students want to achieve. Include just the goal itself, and also steps to reaching that goal. Ask students to show what academic, social, and personal goals they have for the new school year on storyboards. This activity is fun to revisit at the end of the year, to see if students accomplished what they set out to do! For more activities related to goal setting, check out our SMART goals lesson plan.

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Summer Reading Project

Many students are assigned summer reading projects, and some students read many, many books over the summer months. Either choose a book that was assigned, or let students choose one of the books they read. Students can create amazing storyboards that show

  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Character Analysis
  • Vocabulary
  • Favorite Part

On top of storyboards, students can create posters that showcase the themes, plot, and important elements of the story. Movie posters are one great way for students to show off what they've read!

Take a look at just a few of our ideas!

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All About Me

Each and every student is their own being with lots of past stories, quirks, favorite things, hobbies, and talents. Give them a chance to present themselves to you and to the class at the start of the year! Storyboard That offers tons of flexibility and art that students will be able to use to create the perfect storyboard depending on what type of information they want to share. They can create things like

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What I Did This Summer

Take your classic beginning of the year writing activity, but spice it up with Storyboard That! Use the traditional layout to create a narrative of "What I Did This Summer" (or "What I WISH I Had Done This Summer"). Alternatively, students can use the spider map to show various activities or places visited or use a timeline to show the sequence of their summer.

Timeline of My Summer

Pick out four or five most important events of the summer and put them in chronological order. It's okay if exact dates aren't used, as long as the order is right. Focus on just a few events, like going to a movie with friends, a family vacation, a big thunderstorm that made the lights go out, or whatever. For students who did "nothing" all summer: end of school, July, August, back to school.

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New School Year: The Movie

Students will probably have a lot of assumptions about what the new school year will bring. Whether it's things they've heard from older siblings, the books and shows they've consumed, or just the murmurs of the school hallways, they're already anticipating what's to come. Get a feel for what students are thinking and what they want out of the year by having them create movie posters! What do they think Sixth Grade: The Movie will be like? Need templates to get them started? We've got you covered.

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Conversation Cubes

Story cubes don't just have to be for creative writing activities! Teachers and students can create conversation cubes that include questions or discussion prompts. When students roll the cubes, they can answer the question, tell a fact about themselves, a goal they have, or something they learned last year depending on what's written on the cube faces.

These cubes can be rolled during a full class discussion, or you can break students into small groups and have them use the cubes as a conversation starter. The more variety of questions, the more opportunities students have to answer fun questions and get to know their peers!

Question/Prompt Suggestions:

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned last year?
  • Who do you look up to most and why?
  • Name one fun fact about yourself.
  • What are you looking forward to this year?
  • What is one thing you’re good at?
  • What was the most recent movie you've seen and what did you think?
  • What was your favorite book from this summer and why?

Students may also find it fun to create their own story cubes before this activity. What questions would they like to ask their peers? If you allow students to create their own questions, try to provide them with guidelines about what is and isn't okay to ask in order to avoid students feeling pressured to disclose information they don't wish to share.

Find more story cube templates to get started!

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KW(H)L Charts

At the start of a new school year, it's fun to know what students want to learn! They may already know what subjects await them based on their previous year or older siblings, but they might not have a clue. A KWL or KWHL chart will give you some insight on where students are coming from and the things they're excited about.

For a paper assignment, create custom KW(H)L worksheets to distribute to students on one of the first few days of school. Students can turn these in for you to take a look at, and then keep them in their notebooks or binders to look back at at the end of the year. It can also be fun to complete a KWHL poster as a class and hang it up for students to look at throughout the year. The poster can be edited digitally and reprinted or added on to with markers later in the year.

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Worksheet Activities

If you're looking for even more awesome things, you can create first day activities that students can complete digitally or that can be printed out and completed by hand! Have students create a coat of arms or a family tree, and get to know a little bit about what makes them unique!

Students can also help create some of the decorations for the classroom with the first day activity worksheets! While you've already spent some time setting up an awesome classroom, it can be fun for students to see something they created hanging in the classroom every day. Banners, name plates, and posters are a great way to accomplish this!

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What other fun back to school activities do you do with Storyboard That? Send us an email at! We'd love to see what incredible things you're doing with your students.

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