Additional Lesson 3
Take Action - Making Films

Examining a
Story Structure


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Organize the structure of the story
  • Plan and organize a sequence of shots to tell a story


Students will work together to develop a sequence for their documentary.

Guiding Questions:

  • How will I tell the story I want to convey?
  • What will the most effective structure be to convey my message?
  • What footage will be essential in telling each part?

Recommended Time:

45-90 minutes

Common Core State Standards:



Story Structure: How to Tell the Story Handout

Film: “After the Fall: HIV Grows Up”

Technology Required:

  • DVD Player or computer to play film OR computer with Internet access to stream film.
  • Television, SmartBoard or projection equipment.

Lesson Design:

  • Discuss the importance of planning a beginning, middle and end, just as if writing an essay or narrative piece.
  • Review each segment with the class. This could be done while rewatching the film or as a review. The handout provided outlines the beginning, middle and end of “After the Fall: HIV Grows Up.” After viewing the film, students should see clear connections between the film and the model outline, along with footage notes for how the information was relayed.
  • Groups work together to decide the beginning-middle-end structure for their own documentary and determine what footage they have in order to tell the story.