Film Festival

Transform stories into films.

  • Target Age:  7 
  • Learning Goals:  art, language & literacy
  • Related Episode: Arthur Makes a Movie


  • art supplies
  • books
  •  cardboard box
  • scissors
  • square sheets of paper (no wider than a paper towel tube)
  • tape
  • paper towel tubes (two)


Build pretend movies with your children as a way to foster story comprehension skills.

  1. Prepare: Explain to your children that they will be making a movie out of a favorite story. Display a selection of favorite books for your children to choose from. 
  1. Read: Read the chosen book with your children.
  1. Draw: Have children create a series of drawings that retell the story.
  1. Read:  Lay the drawings out in sequence, from beginning to middle to end. Tape the drawings together on the reverse side to create one long strip.
  1. Roll: Tape the end of the strip to a paper towel tube. Roll the picture strip around the tube.
  1. Cut: Cut the flaps off a cardboard box so that one side is completely open. Then, cut slits in the same place on two opposite sides of the box. (The slits need to be large enough to run the paper through.)
  1. Thread: Thread the paper through both slits and tape it to the second paper towel tube.
  1. Roll film: Help children unwind the first tube through the "movie screen" and onto the second tube while narrating the story.

Take It Further

Invite some friends and neighbors for a "film festival" in your living room. Make some popcorn and enjoy!

With a Group
Write a collaborative story for a film, with each child contributing one frame (drawing). Be sure to include a title page and credit page at the end.

DW's Unicorn Adventure


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!