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Using a Storyboard for Students with ADHD, ADD and Hyperactivity

written by: Barbara • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 7/12/2012

Focusing on the task at hand may be difficult for students with ADHD, ADD and Hyperactivity in mainstream classrooms. Using a storyboard to help students create visual and written sequencing of academic content will go a long way in maintaining focus and learning outcome in any class.

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    Storyboard Pictures of a Summer Trip

    My Summer Trip to SpokaneBeing on the HighwayDowntown Spokane
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    Tips on Using the Storyboard

    Whether students are provided with visual content as in the pictures above or written content in any academic subject, what is important is that they are able to take whatever content is given and make meaningful storyboards to process the learning. The pictures above were taken from my recent trip to Spokane, WA. and are being used to provide teaching tips on helping students with ADHD, ADD and Hyperactivity create their own storyboard in the classroom.

    Lesson Objective: Using the following pictures, "Storyboard Pictures of a Summer Trip" create a short story to show what you are doing in each picture during a trip you took during the summer.

    • Pictures whether they are taken out of magazines, photos, student art projects tell a story that is as individualized to a student with ADHD as it is to a gifted student or a student reading at a 3rd grade level in a 9th grade Language Arts class. In your classroom, your ADHD student could be gifted or needing remediation in reading, writing and other subject areas.
    • Have students rearrange the pictures on a 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper to see how the student processes the order of the trip. You can have them label each picture with a number or a letter which may change the sequence as they progress from the short story to another assignment you may use to capture their learning interest.
    • Ask students to write a heading for each picture. For example, Picture #1 or A might have a heading "Water View from the Car."
    • Next have them write a sentence that describes the heading. For example Picture #2 or B might include a student's sentence that reads, "In the backseat of my families SUV, I could see a long stretch of highway that seemed to go on for miles." This sentence will tell you whether the student sees his trip in forward progression (i.e. he/she is headed to a destination). Another student might write the following for the same picture, "The highway snaked endlessly cutting through the river like floating asphalt in control." This highly expressive sentence shows a more elevated processing of the same trip on the highway and a highly skilled word usage from the author.
    • Allow students an opportunity to gather and process meaning from the pictures and their personalized arrangements as you have them write sentence 2 stating why they were going to Spokane or some other destination. In creating excitement and engagement for students who typically may have difficulty focusing on a task at hand, you can use pictures, story chunks, math problems and solutions to create a storyboard learning process that will engage students during an entire class period with no distractions or off task engagements.
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    Storyboard Template

    Below is an example of a storyboard template that could be used to help students with ADHD create outlines and show sequence of an actual trip that they took during the summer or a trip that they would like to take during a school break.

    Title: Storyboard Pictures of a Summer Trip

    Directions: Label each picture with a # or a letter. Put the pictures in the order of your trip event. Write a sentence describing what happened as you move from picture to picture in a short story. Write a conclusion of your short story.

    In the first picture, _________________________.

    In the second picture, ______________________.

    In the third picture, ________________________.

    In conclusion,_____________________________.