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Visualising: From Screen to Page

Visualising: From Screen to Page

Visualisation is when we interpret a printed text into internal images. This is a natural process for trained readers but the link needs to be made more explicit for a developing learner. Asking them to draw a character or a scene from a printed text allows them to present their unique interpretation of the text.

Using visual tools such as mind maps can be a very effective way of making sense of a text, summarising key elements, committing information to memory or sharing ideas, while storyboards or comic-book software make the creation of narrative easier and more fun.

In the same way, learners can often develop a better understanding of moving image texts by ‘translating’ them into a piece of writing such as a poem, short story, diary entry or newspaper item, or by adapting and ‘audio-visualising’ a short written text into a storyboard.

A word of caution: only attempt storyboarding after your pupils are familiar with storyboards through copying off the screen (see Shots in Sequence). Also, encourage them to keep the written passage short - a few well-chosen lines or a couple of paragraphs can generate pages of storyboard.

still from nits

Suggested activities

  • Take a short written text (story openings can be good) and ‘audio-visualise’ it on a storyboard.
  • Write a sequel to the film, remembering to add drama and tension! Use the Continue the Story worksheet as a guide.
  • Or draw a Storyboard of the beginning of a sequel to the film.
  • Write a short paragraph describing a character from a film you have seen, as if you were introducing them into a short story. Try to bring out their personality as well as their appearance.
  • Draw a mind map showing the main elements of the story of a film.
  • Choose one of the characters from a film and write a diary entry of their day (including the events of the film).
  • Write the front page article for your local newspaper the day after the events portrayed in the film.
  • Make a PowerPoint presentation to convey as effectively as possible what you have learned from a moving image text.
  • Record a podcast about a film you have watched.