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Tell a Visual Story

Classmates design 3-panel story sequence scenes about the same story, then compare designs.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Provide opportunities for students to examine several picture books that have a clear story sequence (beginning, middle or climax and end). Encourage students to observe how character's appearance, actions, and settings change throughout the story and are reflected in the illustrations.
    2. Working as a whole class, read or listen to a new story or paragraph about an event. Ask student to use their imaginations to decide how they can represent the sequence of events in three illustrations.
    3. Supply each student with construction paper, Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, and Ultra-Clean Markers. Instruct students to fold a large sheet of colored construction paper in thirds (or use three sheets of smaller paper).
    4. With Crayola® Scissors, cut story setting shapes and figures for all three parts of the story sequence from colored paper. Students fill each of the three panels with shapes. Glue the shapes to the panels with Crayola Glue Sticks.
    5. Use Crayola Colored Pencils and Markers to add details to the story sequence.
    6. Students share their work with the class and explain how they organized and designed story sequence pictures. Compare and contrast classmates' sequence scenes of the same story.
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

    LA: Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

    MATH: Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Allow students an opportunity to practice folding construction paper into fractional parts, such as 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. As this activity proceeds, ask an adult or advanced student to discuss with students how they determine where the folds should be made.

    Encourage students to consider the concept of perspective when creating their artwork by varying the size of figures to indicate their location in space. Small figures look far away, larger ones seem closer to viewers. Ask students to describe how they are interpreting perspective by providing them with artwork that illustrates several perspectives of similar objects.

    Ask an older student to read an original story to a small group of students without sharing any illustrations in the story. Students create three scenes that they imagined while listening to the story. Create a "Tell a Visual Story" art piece to "tell" the story.

    Small groups of students collaborate to create three scenes from a yet-to-be-written story. Student groups trade scenes with another group and write the story to accompany the artwork. Share stories and artwork.

    Students take digital photographs of their story sequence artwork and upload the files to a classroom computer, Students write a summary of the story that accompanies the story sequence. Students audio-record their summary and attach the audio file to the digital photograph file. Create a classroom center where students are able to listen to the recordings while viewing the artwork.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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