Teacher resources » Interactive diorama

Interactive diorama



Students create shoebox dioramas to illustrate the summary of a book or their understanding of themes, plot, setting, or characters in three dimensions. Building dioramas helps learners show their thinking visually in 3D and allows for students to make deeper connections to content.

In this activity, students will create an interactive diorama using the power of video. Whether creating a traditional diorama and building an interactive narration, or building a full scale diorama in which the characters, setting, or themes of your book come to life, video offers a fun and engaging dimension to the traditional diorama project.

Keywords: ELA, STEM, Collaboration

Good for: Individual work or teams, creative expression

Grade level: K-12

Skill level: Intermediate


Student Instructions

Copy and paste the information below directly into the description box when creating your student assignment, or, use it as inspiration to make your own!

In your group, create and film your version of a diorama that represents your comprehension and understanding of your book, concept or other topic. The scene can include the setting of your story, its characters, or represent a part of the plot you want your classmates to see. If you are illustrating a science or historical concept, make sure your diorama includes everything you need to explain it to your classmates! After you have created your diorama you will film and explain the various parts of what you created. Be sure that each team member contributes to the narration.

Lesson planning support

Tips to help your instruction in this activity or help to get you started!

  • If you have a classroom well versed in digital technologies, try having your students use tinkercad - a very fun and very free 3D design software. They can create digital dioramas using the tools offered through Tinkercad. See below in the resources section for an instructables lesson for detailed steps on how to facilitate that project.

  • For a fun, whole class project you can create a life sized, wax museum-esque setting for a story or book. Your students become the characters and your classroom becomes the setting for this fun interactive recall and comprehension activity. Film your students describing the character they represent, an action or conflict moment, or the setting of the story you have chosen to represent. 

  • Get creative! The possibilities for the representation of this project are endless. Students can self select their book or you can assign one for students to complete this assignment.

Technical Skills

Students Will…

Academic Skills

Students will…

21st Century Skills

Students will…

  • Practice voiceover narration

  • Use this narration in a screencast or webcam recording

  • Add text and transitions 

  • Integrate audio, voiceover, and images with video footage to create a final, polished product

  • Analyze and interpret a text

  • Determine the central ideas and themes of a text  

  • Use models to represent comprehension of a topic or concept

  • Creatively communicate ideas about a text or story in through an art medium 

  • Use flexible thinking when working collaboratively

  • Efficiently communicate a message using technology

English/Language arts: The traditional diorama is a way for students to represent what they know about a text. The construction of a diorama can communicate a summary of a text, a character study, information about the setting, or describe how a conflict was resolved. Allowing students to showcase their diorama on video adds a fun and engaging way to spice up this traditional language arts project. 

STEM: Use this project to illustrate a science concept such as the water cycle, ecosystems, the rock cycle, or circuits. Dioramas are a fun and engaging way to represent complex STEM topics physically. Adding a multimedia component on top of that can only enhance the learning experience. 

Collaboration: This activity provides a perfect opportunity to integrate collaborative group work into your classroom environment. Traditionally a diorama project is done by individual students but in this interactive diorama students divide the tasks to create and film their work. If you choose to do the life sized interactive diorama, students act as characters or part of the setting, aligning perfectly with a collaborative group project