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What is a Grid?

Grid Layout - Compare and Contrast graphic organizer

Storyboard That has a few different layouts available for your storyboards. The grid layout is a format option that compares items across two axes. Grids are often the best choice for storyboards with lots of information, because grids are organized in a matrix. For simpler comparisons, we suggest you use a T-Chart.

Grids Help You:

  • Organize Information
  • Compare Multiple Characteristics of a Topic or Topics
  • Create Graphic Organizers for Reading
  • Make Visual Tables

Breaking Down the Grid Layout

Left-Hand Column with Row Titles

The grid layout distinguishes itself from the traditional layout by having separate boxes for titles in addition to the cells. All grid layouts have a column on the left-hand side that cannot be removed. Subjects, topics, or major important criteria should be named in the title bars of this column. The size and the position of the title bar cannot be changed, but you are free to choose the font and color. Leave the white space below the title bar blank, or use it to show an example or description of the word in the title bar.

While you can configure your grid however you choose, the grid was designed so that the main subjects occupy the row title bars, and the criteria or examples fill in the columns. For more advanced or more detailed storyboards, use the description boxes to explain the images in the cell.

Classroom Use: How Can I Use the Grid Layout in My Classroom?

The grid layout is perfect for presenting information in a chart format. Science experiment data collection, showing literary elements with examples, factors leading to war, math vocabulary, comparing two sides of an argument, and more are all possible with the grid.

Our teacher authors have come up with many additional possibilities for the grid layout. You will find that this layout is very useful for collecting and displaying information or charting progress, but maybe you will discover even more ways to use the grid. Take a look at our suggestions.

Use the Grid Layout For:

ELA History Foreign Language STEM
  • Foreshadowing
  • Literary Theme
  • Irony
  • Change Over Time
  • Advanced Comparisons
  • Text Analysis
  • Vocabulary
  • Conjugation
  • Instructions for a Process
  • Observations
  • Sorting Boards
  • Charts for Collecting Information

English Language Arts

Chart information on characters or literary devices during or after reading long texts. The grid layout makes an excellent reference guide or study sheet.

Example Activities

  • Foreshadowing or Making Predictions
  • Literary Theme
  • Irony


Grids are excellent graphic organizers to use when comparing multiple characteristics of two or more subjects.

Example Activities

  • Change Over Time
  • Advanced Comparisons
  • Text Analysis

Foreign Language

When learning a new language, there are a lot of new words to keep track of! A grid is perfect for verb conjugations with visual examples on Storyboard That!

Example Activities

  • Vocabulary
  • Conjugation
  • Instructions for a Process

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Planning, research, information gathering and more are ideal for the grid layout. You can also use manipulatives by organizing physical objects on a printed grid storyboard!

Example Activities

  • Reference Materials
  • Sorting Boards
  • Charts for Collecting Information

Applications for Special Education

Storyboard That is a fun tool for everyone in the classroom, but may be particularly useful for students on IEPs and 504 plans. Graphic organizers serve as a way to structure or guide a student's thinking. The grid layout is perfect for making charts and digital storytelling with a title cell.

Storyboard That allows the creators to incorporate pictures, colors, and text into their graphic organizers. Not all students have stellar handwriting or drawing abilities. Incorporating a storyboard-style format into digital storytelling allows handwriting abilities and drawing talents to become irrelevant. All students end up with a graphic organizer they can look back on later and still be able to understand it.

Here are a few additional ideas on when to use a grid storyboard for special education:

  • Keep track of characters in a story
  • Create visual vocabulary boards
  • Use Storyboard That instead of a pencil and paper assignment
  • Create boards for games, rewards, and communication needs
  • Track changes from day to day

Related Activities

Check out these grid layout examples from our guides on The Declaration of Independence, The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

How to Use the Grid Layout in Your Classroom


Introduce the Grid Layout

Explain to your students that the grid layout is a useful tool for organizing and comparing information. Emphasize its versatility in presenting data, creating visual tables, and making comparisons across different subjects or topics. Show examples of grids in various contexts, such as science experiments, historical comparisons, language learning, and more.


Identify the Purpose

Discuss with your students the specific purpose of using the grid layout in a given activity. Help them understand how organizing information in a grid can enhance their understanding, analysis, and synthesis of the topic at hand. Highlight the benefits of visually organizing data and making side-by-side comparisons.


Collaborative Grid Creation

Divide your students into small groups and assign each group a specific subject or topic to work on. Provide them with a blank grid template and ask them to collaboratively fill in the cells with relevant information, examples, or descriptions. Encourage discussions and brainstorming within the groups to ensure a comprehensive and well-organized grid.


Present and Analyze

Have each group present their completed grids to the class. As they present, ask them to explain the thought process behind their data organization, the criteria used for comparisons, and any patterns or insights they discovered. Encourage the class to ask questions and engage in a meaningful discussion about the information presented in the grids.


Individual Grid Activities

Assign individual grid activities to students, allowing them to delve deeper into a specific aspect of the subject or topic. Provide prompts or guiding questions to focus their comparisons and analysis. For example, in English Language Arts, students can create a grid comparing different characters' traits or analyzing the use of figurative language in a text. Encourage students to think critically and express their own interpretations in the grid.


Reflect and Apply

Engage students in a reflective discussion about their experience using the grid layout. Ask them to consider how the grid helped them organize and analyze information, identify relationships, and draw conclusions. Encourage them to apply the grid layout in other subjects or real-life situations where comparisons and data organization are valuable skills.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Grid Layout

What are some benefits of using a grid layout in my design work?

Using a grid layout can help improve the overall readability and organization of your design, as well as create a sense of visual harmony and balance. It can also help you work more efficiently by providing a clear structure to follow as you design.

How do I use the grid layout format to the best utility for my project?

Before you begin working with the grid layout, it's important to have a clear understanding of the goals of your design project and the content that you will be working with such as images or text, and select a grid layout that will help you showcase that content in the most effective way possible. Since the column on the left-hand side cannot be removed, be willing to experiment with the rest of the layout in order to make adjustments where necessary. Be sure to use white space effectively to create a sense of visual interest and to help guide the viewer's eye to key elements on the page.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when using a grid layout in graphic design?

Some common mistakes to avoid include using a grid that is too rigid or inflexible, neglecting to balance white space and negative space within the design, and relying too heavily on the grid without considering other design elements such as typography and color. One way to keep a grid layout visually interesting is to incorporate variations in the size, shape, and placement of design elements within the grid. You can also experiment with different color palettes, typography, and graphic styles to add visual interest and texture to the design.

Image Attributions
Find more storyboard activities like these in our Special Education Category!
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