I was a writing teacher who didn't think kids always had to write. Mr. Stick convinced me that--sometimes--it was okay to have my students summarize with just pictures. I understood differentiated instruction well enough to know that some of my kids benefited from the times I had them only draw. I also appreciate the power of non-linguistic representations in the classroom, even in language-learning classrooms.
This is a great journal task if you want to have your students summarize a short story or a chapter...anything that makes sense to end up in story-board fashion.
Set the Stage:
What I say when assigning this: "Hey kids, I know I've done an amazing job this year of helping you love writing, right? Today, I'm not going to make you write, which I know is going to make you really sad!
"We're going to read a story (or chapter) and you'll be responsible for making a silent storyboard that represents the whole tale from beginning to end.
"Because I am generous, and I know making an easy-to-follow storyboard with drawings only is difficult, I will allow you to use six words. I know that makes this mostly silent, instead of completely silent, but I want your storyboards to make sense to not only me, but to someone else who enters this classroom who maybe hasn't read the same story. I think six carefully-chosen words is something I'm willing to let you have.
"I, of course, am expecting all six words to be spelled correctly!"
One of my eleventh graders--GeeGee I.--explained the beginning of the Trojan War with this marvelous mostly silent storyboard. If you click on it, you can view it larger so you can print it on an 8.5" x 11" page.
I'm Looking for more Samples:
If you use this Mr. Stick journal task with your students (grades 4-12) and end up with an example that you believe I can feature here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am especially looking for samples on topics other than mythology! If you photograph/scan a journal page that I end up featuring here, I will send you one of the NNWP's Print Publications as my way of saying "Thanks!"