When you want students to present a story, but having them read is not going to work (you don't have time to polish up a reader's theater script, students are reading below the level of the story, students are not native English speakers), then you can use a story board.

A story board is a piece of paper that uses simple diagrams to tell the story--stick figures of the characters for each scene.

For example, in Cinderella, the first cell in a story board would depict the mother dying (a stick figure on its back) and Cinderella and her father. The students playing these two characters would improvise a conversation depicting this event. The next cell might be the father, Cinderella, the step mother, and step sisters. Those playing these characters would then improvise a conversation that would reflect them meeting each other for the first time.

One aspect of literacy is being able to retell a story. Using a story board focuses on this skill--it is a comprehension strategy. You can assess comprehension of the story by the improvised conversation--you should be able to understand the story by the way in which the characters talk to each other. If you cannot understand the story, the students probably have not comprehended it and may need some help in that area.

Storyboarding comes from the art world, where it is used in the creation of films and advertisements.