What’s the Story?

Registration for the 2023—2024 academic year is now closed. We look forward to seeing you next year!


The Jacob Burns Film Center is thrilled to welcome back elementary classes to its Media Arts Lab for a newly reimagined take on its groundbreaking third grade education program. What’s the Story? sees these young, eager students analyzing inspiring short films, creating detailed storyboards, and sharing back their wild, creative ideas with a supportive group of peers.  Plus, they’ll have an absolute blast doing it!

The structure of this program allows classes to return to the Media Arts Lab for up to three visits, each with its own goals, activities, and unique short films.


What’s the Story?

Location: The JBFC Media Arts Lab

Cost: $15 per student per visit (a total of 3 visits) or FREE for under-resourced schools

Time: 9:30 AM—11:30 AM

Capacity: 60 Students (Max)

Grade: 3rd


What’s the Story?: Information for Schools

JBFC EDU What’s the Story? One Sheet




Visit 1

Visit 1 focuses on details, characters, and story sequence, and sees students analyzing two short films and storyboarding their own narratives in small groups. These stories are then celebrated and shared back with the entire class.


Visit 2

Visit 2 highlights the concept of mise en scène, or the idea that every detail in an image is important. Students view two new shorts, discuss them through the lens of mise en scène, and then become production designers as they create their very own detailed settings.


Visit 3

Visit 3 is all about real life and the idea that the most powerful stories come from within. The morning starts with two short documentary viewings, both featuring young protagonists, during which students will learn basic film language and shot types. Next, they’ll choose a personal passion and create three storyboard images that could be included in a documentary about themselves. Finally, the visit winds down with a supportive group share.



The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

Email Sign Up

Get updates on courses, kids programming and more at the JBFC