Lesson 8: Visuals and Storytelling

There is a deep-seated need in the human spirit to tell stories, to hear stories, to share stories. - Steve Sanfield

We’re all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling. - Jimmy Neil Smith

In this lesson, you will learn about visual storytelling. In the previous lesson you have already practiced telling stories by creating your own infographic. Infographics are one way to tell a story visually, but there are many others. Human beings have likely told stories before they were able to write them down. Stories were often conveyed orally by storytellers. Legends and mythical stories were created to explain natural disasters and other events that humans at the time could not explain. Stories have been carved on cave walls and hieroglyphs were used to convey stories in Egypt. In modern times, we usually use written, spoken, or visual language to convey stories. In this lesson, you will create a visual story. Naturally, as human beings, it seems more difficult for us to tell stories without using spoken or written language, as we have become so accustomed to reading and hearing stories. It is therefore often easier for us to “tell” a story than it is to “show” a story to an audience.

You have probably been told and shown many stories in your life in the books you read, images you viewed, and movies you watched. There are probably stories that have changed your life and have moved you emotionally, while other stories were hard to read, watch, or hear until the end. What makes a story good? Although there are no uniform rules for a good story, Andrew Stanton, a filmmaker who (co-)directed movies such as Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Toystory, and Monsters, Inc., identified the clues to a great story. Please watch his TED talk but Please Note: This video contains graphic language. If you would like to avoid hearing this language, start the video at 1:20.