Story-telling exercise tutorial

The learner is shown a wordless comic strip, a sequence of related images or a video without the sound. The learner must then narrate what she sees.

RESOURCE GATHERING STAGE

For this example, we are going to use a sample comic strip from Dough Wright’s Nipper series. Comic strips without text are the best option for this type of exercise.

Nipper series comic strip example

Nipper series comic strip example

All the cartoons of this comic strip are included in one image, so the first step is to separate them using some image editing software (e.g. Gimp, Windows Paint, Adobe Photoshop…). The result will be something like this:

Cropped and resized cartoon

Cropped and resized cartoon

If you want to skip the image editing step, you can download the set of images we prepared.

VIDEO EDITING STAGE

Add the resources to the timeline

Record yourself to get a sense of the duration: A good starting point for determining the appropriate duration of each image, or the exercise as a whole, is to record yourself while you narrate the story and then to add a percentage to your resulting duration. If it took you 2 minutes to come up with a story, you could decide to add 30% to that time, depending on the level of the learner.

Variant: You can also organize this exercise in two phases. The first one will show the learner the each cartoon in a sequence. The second one (after the first one is finished) will show the learner the whole comic-strip, so he/she can explain the whole story.

Exporting the video project

Once you are satisfied with your work save the video project (might be you will need it later on) and then export the project to an HD video file. These are the settings we used:

  • Video codec: x264/H264/AVC with a bitrate of 15000kbps to keep a good quality. Other options could be choosing a High Profile, setting multiple pass encoding…
  • Audio codec: AAC, 128kbps bitrate, Stereo
  • Media container: MP4

INTERACTION DEFINITION STAGE

This type of exercise usually has only one interaction point that lasts the whole video. The typical interaction table for story-telling exercises looks similar to:

Number

Begin

End

Role

Text

1

00:00.500

01:30.000

Learner

Describe each picture and then narrate the story.