How To Use Visual Story Telling In Classrooms

90% of all information transmitted to our brains is visual. People remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. Everybody loves stories. Don’t we? Whether we’re reading it or its narrated by someone else. Both has its own creativity and fun. What they have in common is, they are created and presented in a way that is unique and meant to engage the audience.


In the classroom storytelling occurs daily. The content rendered by teachers and interpreted by students is in the form of a story. But it clearly depends on the way it’s been rendered by teachers, which makes all the difference.

Below are some of the important points we need to keep in mind while visual story telling.

Include basic factual details as needed for credibility: These might appear at the end of a linear presentation (video or animation), or below or beside a still image or graphic.

Any reasonable assumption a viewer would make must be true: When we see a portrait, we assume it was posed. When we see someone jumping, falling, or raising a flag, we do not assume it was a re-enactment.

Where does the storytelling come in?. Pictures are needed, for understanding a story visually. It’s true, when we see a photograph we can assume a story. For a story to be constructed even one picture is enough. But it may be useful to think of the single image as an iconic work. But then it’s just our assumption.

A visual story requires more than one image: How does a picture differs from a collection of pictures to construct a story: A “collection of picture” story has a theme. Where every picture focusses upon one subject, helping in creating a flow of the story.

Know what the story is before you start making images for it: Visual stories has lot of power to create an impact over one’s mind. It can teleport us from a place to another. Or make us feel as a part of the story. So, the story’s theme must be decided before, for it to influence the listeners. A good visual story is always compact, visceral, evocative.

Visual stories should be able to stand alone and make sense on their own. The content should be accurate. Too much information, might lead the story to fall. Less content might not be able to influence much. Which can lead to lack of interest of the listeners.

Edit ruthlessly to pare away all that is unnecessary to the essential story. Background and context can be supplied in a linked text, in other separate components.

Ensure that the story makes sense if it stands alone. Finally, what makes a story a story? Obviously now, this is a major point. After everything, the story should at least make sense. The format should be in a sequence to effectively drive a story. Poor format, can again, lead to a poor visual presentation.

Sometimes a visual story needs illustrations, charts or graphs, maps, diagrams: Nothing else, in any format, would tell this segment of the story as effectively. Telling a story entirely with graphics is different from telling a story with photos or video.


How can this benefit the classroom?

Sometimes students fear new things and are afraid of taking a risk, but experiences that are diverse like this truly help to support students. Digital storytelling encourages creativity; having that choice inspires curiosity and will help to diminish the fear of trying something new. And finally, it brings a lot of extra diversity and excitement into the classroom. As teachers, we benefit from the extra learning opportunities provided by these tools as well.