Creating New Teaching Materials with Storyboards

By Bridget Baudinet

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French Dialogue Practice

With the many possibilities of Storyboard That, French teachers will enjoy using the platform as much as their students! Not only can the storyboards be used for student activities, but they can also serve as a resource for creating materials for the language classroom. From worksheets, to tests, to oral language practice, teachers can use the artistic software of Storyboard That to personalize and adapt printed assignments to the needs of their particular students.

Although Storyboard That does not convert files into worksheets automatically, it is easy to print off storyboards or download them as PDFs, JPGs, or PowerPoints. In these formats, the images can be resized and manipulated to fit your digital or paper worksheets. There is now a full "Worksheets" layout in the Storyboard Creator that will make the conversion to worksheets a snap. Consider the teacher applications highlighted below as you plan your upcoming French lessons.

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Teaching Vocabulary

Early language instruction relies heavily on pictures to convey new vocabulary. Think of the textbook pages that depict, for example, all the objects found in a classroom, or a house with all its rooms and objects labeled in French. Naturally, after teaching this vocabulary, you will want to provide ways for your students to practice it. If you don’t have time or the inclination to set students to work on storyboards, you can always build some yourself, print them off, and use them as vocabulary practice worksheets.

The storyboard below illustrates a simple way to provide uniform graphics on a worksheet. Instead of searching for images online, just drag down settings or objects into storyboard squares and print off the storyboard. In this particular storyboard, the textbox with the blank line provides a place for students to identify the French name of each room displayed.

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Teaching Grammar

Storyboard That graphics can also be used to teach grammatical concepts. Try putting together images in a rebus-like format to have students practice French sentence structure. Provide images to represent a subject + verb + indirect object + direct object sentence and then have students write out the sentence in the proper French order. With thousands of images at your disposal, you can create endless grammatical combinations, giving your students important practice in critical thinking and language application.

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Another way to take advantage of the Storyboard Creator is to present students with partially completed storyboard printouts to use on worksheets. Students will love the fun graphic handouts that add welcome variety to the typical worksheet format. Write out your own sentence starters and an accompanying picture to prompt oral or written sentence completions. The sample worksheet squares below provide sentence openings that will require students to complete the sentence by conjugating in the subjunctive mood.

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If the colored images do not reproduce well with your printer or copier, remember you can edit the coloring and line thickness by using some of the image filters. The “Art Pen Drawing” or “Remove Color” filters will prepare your graphics for black and white printings.

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If you’re looking to engage your students even further with creative worksheets, consider using their work on your printouts. After assigning students a storyboard activity, tell them that the best scenes will make their way onto an upcoming homework assignment. Just remove some of the text of the original storyboard and ask students to employ their French knowledge to complete the text on their homework.

Student classwork and homework image with text and tense instructions removed:

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Teaching Oral and Listening Skills

No language class is complete without practice in speaking and listening. As you search for images to facilitate these oral and auditory skills, consider the graphics on Storyboard That. With the flexibility the image database provides, you can create an unlimited number of scenes to present to your students. Adapt the images to include avatars of your students or faculty members, or change the scenes to reflect a particular story or video you are covering as a class.

One common way to facilitate oral language practice is to present a short scene for students to describe. Instead of relying on textbook images, story cubes, or other pre-made scenes, create your own pictorial stories, like the lost dog tale below. Present students with the visual scenes and have them retell the story in groups, in front of the class, or on a digital recording.

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If you’d rather practice listening skills with your students, storyboard squares provide a way to do that as well. Write up a script including the desirable text you’d like your students to listen to, then create squares depicting different scenes from the text. Present this on a printed handout and have students number the images based on the order in which they hear them. This can make an effective review activity or even appear as part of a quiz or test.

Listening Activity Images

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Accompanying Script

  1. Je me réveille à sept heures du matin.
  2. Je prends le petit-déjeuner dans la salle a manger.
  3. Je me brosse les dents tous les matins.
  4. Je me couche à dix heures du soir.

Given the many ways Storyboard That can be adapted into teaching materials, it is sure to provide the multi-use platform you’ve been waiting for. With its wide variety of scenes, objects, and characters, you can adapt the imagery to any lesson you’re teaching and personalize your handouts to suit your classes. It’s time to say “adieu” to those boring worksheets and “bonjour” to the engaging handouts storyboards make possible!

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Teacher Favorites

Get the most out of Storyboard That with these great features!

Classroom Features

During your 14-Day free trial, you and your students will have full access to all the classroom features.

  • Unlimited Storyboards with up to 100 cells
  • Personal Teacher Dashboard
  • Support for Google Sign On

Photos for Class

Easily find that perfect photo thanks to integration with Photos for Class.

  • Millions of Creative Commons photos
  • Automatically cited when used
  • Makes storyboards POP

Powerful Export

After your storyboard is created easily export it to high resolution storyboard cells, PDF, slideshow, and so much more!

  • Export to PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides
  • Upload to your blog, wiki, email or social media
  • Create classroom posters and custom printables

Presentation Ready

Quickly turn any storyboard into a presentation to receive immediate feedback!

  • One Click Live Slide Shows
  • Export to PowerPoint (Keynote, and Google Slides compatible)
  • Create a new presentation just as easily after edits
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