Storytelling - Ideas, Elements & Structure


This is an introduction to storytelling, including concepting/planning, story elements and structure, and writing a 1-scene treatment. Lesson 1 of 4.


This is the first of four lessons in the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) unit called "Pre-Production: The Importance of Storytelling, Storyboards, Scripts and Set Design!" In this lesson, students will dive into the art of storytelling by looking at the genres of TV/Film/Print media and examining the structure and elements of a 3-act story. They will develop a story concept that fits this model and write a 1-scene treatment to demonstrating one short story segment from their concept. (Note: This same story concept will be used throughout the PBL unit.) Depending on your preference, students may do this project individually or in pairs. It is possible to do small groups (3-4 students), but the process does not move more quickly as more minds work together.

  • Lesson 1: Storytelling - Ideas, Elements & Structure
  • Lesson 2: Creating the Scene - Storyboards and Set Designs
  • Lesson 3: Script-Writing - Formats, Elements & Celtx
  • Lesson 4: Pre-Production Short Film Package - Sets, Storyboards and a Script

Lesson Times

100-120 minutes
2 Class Periods

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
    • Design, Visual, and Media Arts
    • Performing Arts
    • Production and Managerial Arts
K-12 Subjects
  • Visual Arts & Performing Arts
    • Theatre
    • Visual Arts
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives


California English Common Core Standards (1)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Define the structure and identify major elements of a 3-act story.
  • Identify and describe major genres of TV/Film/Print media.
  • Develop a story concept to be used throughout the unit.
  • Develop a 1-scene treatment that effectively tells a story.

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