7th Grade Invisible Forces

Invisible Forces is a storytelling program meant to illuminate the invisible forces which shape our culture, our world, and our life. From internal struggles like fear, anxiety, hate, or even the “simple” desire to keep what you have all the way to systemic issues like racism, sexism, gentrification, or the interconnectedness suggested by the butterfly effect, there are invisible forces that play silent roles in our stories all the time. As characters, settings, plot points, and other story elements, these forces gain their power by staying invisible. In this program, however, we’ll tell and retell stories in ways that shed light on those invisible story elements, giving them visible roles in our stories to try and understand their impact on our stories’ ends.

Check out our Invisible Forces projects here:

Final Projects

Use the arrow keys or click the pointers in the lower right
to see the slideshows and other materials we used during this program.

Session 1

Daily Routines and Rivers of Life

In this program, we'll be making movies that feature invisible forces.


Week 1: Ideas & Storyboard

Week 2: Film & Edit

Week 3: Film& Edit


Week 1: Ideas & Storyboard

Week 2: Film & Edit

Thurs. Feb 2nd: Film Festival 1

Week 3: Film & Edit

Thurs. Feb 9th: Film Festival 2

What are invisible forces?

Things that affect our lives in ways we don't realize...

gender rolesracismSchoolpoliciesexpectationsnorms designlovestereotypessystems (eg. healthare)capitalismlawspowerexpectations

To get better at seeing invisible forces we'll look at our own lives.

One place to start is with you're daily routine....

What is your day like?

Write down at least 10 things that you do most days

Make a comic, list, or diagram that shows your routine.

River of Life

Write down at least 10 events that made you who you are, and when in your life they appeared.

(Eg. world events, when siblings were born, deaths, loves, etc.)

A River of Life

Includes people & events that shaped you. It should start before you were born.

Sessions 2

Finish Rivers, Find Forces

Spend 20m finishing your river. Then, we'll share.

When you're done, get up and share your river with one person. When one person is talking, the other should just listen.

Finding forces in our rivers and routines

With post-its, highlight forces that influence events on your river and routine.

sexismracismSchoolingimmigrationpowerlawsstigmasloverolesbiologycapitalisminstitutionsserendipityexpectations • norms

When you're finished with your rivers, have shared them, and have found invisible forces....

Grab headphones and check out this website with example proejcts: bit.ly/invisible-examples

Session 3

Coming up with Projects

By the end of today you should have:

An idea for:
1. a movie you want to make or
2. an invisible force you want to focus on

Coming up with projects:

  • Forces
  • Forms


Norms to think with...

gender normsracial biashand-washing before you leave the bathroomspeed limitsno wearing white after labor daywage gapmen can't wear skirtsis it OK to like Bieber?shaved headssweaty armpitshaving an accentmouth-breathingcrooked teethcrying in publickissing in publicweight

Force: Marketing/Capitalism

Force: Masculinity >> Bullying

Force: Objectification of Women

Force: Heteronormativity


Form: Scenes from your life where invisible force X affects it.

Form: Narrating to the camera between clips of invisible force X affecting your life.

Form: Anthropomorphizing invisible force X

You could imagine anthropomorphizing the invisible force who:

Takes your socks in the morning

Decides who you're attracted to

Is a physical manifestation of: Greed, Innocence, Justice.

Form: Role reversal

Form: World with and without invisible force X.

World with and without phone addiction.

World without hope.

Form: Trailers

Form: Stopmotion

Address Is Approximate
from sharp & jenkins on Vimeo.

how to tell your story

In this program, since we'll be making movies that feature invisible forces.

We'll need to storyboard.

What's storyboarding?

Storyboarding a scene
from my River of Life


The stories should feature an invisible force.

If you focus on your own life, think about how you may use props, special objects you can bring in from home, photos and videos from Facebook, etc. to tell your story!


Session 4

Brainstorming and Storyboarding

1. How will you tell your story?

eg. stopmotion animation, narration, role reversal, anthropomorphism, scenes from your life with force X affecting it, a trailer for force X, alternative world

2. What invisible force will you feature?

eg. love, stereotypes, gender roles, sexism, racism, greed, School, adults, power, serendipity

3. What's your story?

If you're stuck, make a storyboard based off of your:

Favorite movie example bit.ly/invisible-examples

River of life

Favorite invisible force

Session 5

Making iMovies

Goal for today: Finish storyboard and — if you have time — shoot a scene from your storyboard

What makes a good shot:

good audio

good lighting

good framing

Inaudible Audio

Audible audio

Using the camera to communicate:


Session 6

Shooting & Editing

On Thurs we're critiquing our films!

Everyone should have a first draft.

iMovie Walkthrough

  1. Import photos/videos using USB
  2. Drag photos/videos onto desktop
  3. Drag photos/videos into iMovie
  4. Add transitions, filters, etc.
  5. Add music: www.youtube2mp3.cc

Session 7

Shooting & Editing


Other spaces & Adults

Communicate Where Shooting

iPods & Lost Footage

Afterschool :

Today until 5
Tomorrow until 3:30

Putting Stuff in Place:

  1. Get Computer
  2. Put names on tape
  3. Transfer video with usb cable
  1. Import photos/videos using USB
  2. Drag photos/videos onto desktop
  3. Drag photos/videos into iMovie
  4. Add transitions, filters, etc.
  5. Add music: www.youtube2mp3.cc

Session 8


No one is finished shooting....but today, everyone will transfer whatever footage they do have into iMovie and start editing.

  1. Sign into Alec's account (no PW)
  2. Make folder with your name on Desktop
  3. Import photos/videos using USB
  4. Drag photos/videos into your folder
  5. Look at vidoes in folder by highlighting and pressing "space"
  6. Drag photos/videos you want from folder into iMovie
  7. Split clips, add transitions, add filters, etc.
  8. Add music: www.youtube2mp3.cc
  1. Import videos using USB cable
  2. Drag videos onto desktop
  3. Drag videos into iMovie
  4. Add transitions, filters, etc.
  5. Add music: www.youtube2mp3.cc

Session 9

Shooting & Editing



Today: Shooting and Editing

Tomorrow: Critique

Make sure your project in iMovie is labelled with your name

  1. Import videos using USB cable
  2. Drag videos onto desktop
  3. Drag videos into iMovie
  4. Add transitions, filters, etc.
  5. Add music: www.youtube2mp3.cc

Session 10


For each video, write 1 thing you enjoyed, and at least one piece of concrete critical feedback.

Concrete useful feedback

  1. Talk about specific scenes.
  2. Think about what distracts you from the movie.
  3. eg. Camera shaky
  4. eg. Lighting makes it difficult to see
  5. eg. Invisible force or plot unclear

Session 11

Making changes

Next Film Festival: Thursday
I'll be here after school on Tuesday
Based on your cards and Friday's critique, make a list of 5-10 concrete things you want to change or add to your film.

Session 12


Film Festival on Thursday

Make a list of 3 concretethings you'd like to do today.


Session 13

Last Work Day!

Film Festival on Thursday!

Session 14

Last Day😢

Film Festival

Final Projects

Session 15

Program Critique

Free Write:

Write about your experience in the program.


Get into groups of 3-4 and interiew each other.

  1. How would you describe this program to a friend who doesn't go to the Healey?
  2. How did making movies compare to your expectations? (eg. What was hard about it that you did't expect? What did you like about it?)
  3. What was your process? (ie. How did your story and movie change over time? How did you come up with the idea for your movie, storyboard it, shoot it, revise it?)
  4. What did you like best about this program? What did you like least? How could it be better?
  5. How is this different from your experience in regular school? Did you feel differently (care more or less than you do normally) about your projects?