Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12

About the Author: Jessie Curell for MediaSmarts

Duration: 3-9 hours

media representation

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In groups, students will create a Digital Story which addresses a topic, theme or issue that is affecting them.  All stages of production will be covered, including research, storyboarding their idea into a visual organizational layout, practicing capturing quality photographs and interviews, and finally weaving their Digital Story into a finished project using computer editing software.

This lesson is designed as part of a three-part series:

However, each is also designed to be delivered as a standalone lesson and any two of the lessons can be taught together without the third.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • learn about the elements of a Digital Story and what makes a good product
  • in a group, learn how to organize a chosen topic into cohesive storyboard format
  • learn how to effectively conduct an interview, including question composition and logistical camera set-up
  • learn how to apply photo composition techniques to their own photography and video skills
  • as a group, learn how to organize their photos and video into a coherent sequence using video editing computer software or iPad app (such as iMovie or MovieMaker), including voice recording

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.