Home » Blog » Imagination and Storytelling #5: Scriptwriting and Video Production

Imagination and Storytelling #5: Scriptwriting and Video Production

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, students draw on what they have learned about story structure and story performance to write and perform their own stories.  I have written this into one lesson plan, but it will most likely take two to four lessons for the students to plan their projects, rehearse their stories, and perform for their peers.  This could easily be used as a summative task for the storytelling and imagination unit.

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



To create a group story, plan the beginning, middle, and ending elements, work out accompanying hand motions with a dramatic interpretation, and make a short, unedited movie of the final product.

Suggested Time:

Two to four lessons, depending on attendance and how well the children follow instructions and work together.

Success Criteria:

Each small group of three to five students will plan, write, rehearse, and perform a story of their own.  The teacher will record their performances to capture and share their understanding and work.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

We have sequenced stories, we have mapped stories, and we have acted out stories.  In the next few working sessions, we will put all those elements together to create our own stories.  Then, we will make a movie of our stories!

Remind the students of Michael Rosen’s interpretation of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  Perform this again as a class.

What did Mr. Rosen’s story have?  (Scribe on a flip chart or white board)

  • Something to hunt (Examples: Bear, Tiger, Butterfly, T-Rex, Buffalo, Fairy Queen, etc.)
  • Obstacles (Examples: Grass, River, Mud)
  • Motions and Gestures (Example: Long, wavy grass)
  • Sound effects (Examples Stumble, trip, squish, squelch)
  • A proper ending where the family runs away.  (Back through all the obstacles)

2. Main:

You will be working in assigned groups, and these are the things that your group will have to work out!  Just like Michael Rosen, you will decide on something to hunt, overcome obstacles, work out sound effects and hand motions, and give the story a great ending.

  1. Place students into small, working groups of three to five.
  2. Students choose a theme for their stories, i.e., something to hunt.  Allow five to seven minutes of discussion for this.  In the past I have had students “hunt” for a shark, T-Rex, treasure, etc.
  3. Students choose two to four obstacles that they will pass through to get to their hunted object.
  4. Students work out simple gestures and sound effects to go with the obstacles.
  5. Students put their projects together. They will need support for this!

Each project will have a structure roughly like this:


We’re going on a (fill in the blank) hunt,

We’re going to catch a big one,

What a beautiful day!

We’re not scared,



Oh No!!  A (fill in the blank)

We can’t go over it,

We can’t go under it,

We’ll have to go through it.

Sound effects and motions

(Repeat until all obstacles are faced and overcome)

What’s that?  A (fill in the blank)



Quick, back through the (fill in the blank)

Sound effects and motions

Back through the (fill in the blank)

Sound effects and motions

(Repeat until finished) 

We’re never going on a (fill in the blank) hunt again!!


3. Conclusion:

After all the videos are complete, have an “Opening Night” or “Debut” event.  If you can pull it off, make posters and popcorn and let the kids really enjoy watching their finished products.  I’ve done this once with great success, and it really does cap off the unit on storytelling.  It integrates technology and allows children to create their own stories without having to do more writing during library sessions.

  1. Video recording device.
  2. Video playback capability
  3. Copies of the student handout (attached)
  4. Additional teacher or teaching assistant for supporting the small groups.
  5. Room for practice and rehearsals. (It gets very loud if everyone is rehearsing in the same area.)

If the children are very young, only ask them to write two or three obstacles.  Otherwise it will be too much for them to remember.  I have had first graders successfully write and perform four obstacles, so they can do it!

Do not edit the videos!  That is too much work and it’s not necessary.  This is not meant to be a polished performance, just a way to capture student effort.  Someone will get the giggles, someone will forget the lines, someone will get the order mixed up, someone will stand with hands in pockets – just keep going!!  Whatever they can do will be good enough.  These are very young children and the idea is that they create and make their own stories, which they will do even if the performance is not polished.

Don’t use any props!  Keep it simple and let them use their imaginations as Michael Rosen modeled so well.  Conceptually, this is a simple exercise.  But, it will take them a bit of time to write, develop, practice, and present.  Be patient – the final results will be delightful!

Recommended books for this lesson:

None – This lesson refers to last week’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt text.

Key Terms:

Poetry, Bear Hunt, Writing, Stories, Performance, Story Structure

Student Handout, Bear Hunt Video

Completed Student Work Sample, Bear Hunt Video