Teach your students to interpret a story 👉 Unveiling stories

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

Cover image blog_ Teach your students to interpret a story. Unveiling stories

This learning technique encourages students to unveil a story with a link to actuality. The main goal of this method is to teach them to interpret a story in different ways. You could focus on the story perceived by your students, or on the bigger story.

How does this learning technique activate students? 

This is a learning technique where students try to unveil a story with a link to actuality, with your support and/or the help of their peers. This assignment reflects what’s happening in Europe now, but could also be used for other events and subjects. You can implement the open-ended question, or decide not to.

The main goal of this learning technique is to learn to interpret stories in different ways. You could focus on the story perceived by your students while looking at this image, or on the bigger story behind it. While looking at the image below it could be, for example: refugees who seek asylum.

Want to teach your students to interpret a story? Try out our intuitive toolkit for teachers.


How do you implement it?

The most important thing is to choose a meaningful image, with enough visual data to flare up interesting conversations. You can formulate each question as an open-ended question, implement a series of targeted quiz questions, or alternate between them. It's up to you and your preferences.


If you do decide to use open-ended questions, we advise you to use both textual and visual components. If you choose to work with LessonUp, go to the settings of the image and indicate that you want to zoom into the picture.

How does it work in the class?

Ask the following (open-ended) questions while showing your students the image:

  • What’s the story here?

  • What’s the story on a human level?

  • What’s the bigger, world-wide story?

  • What’s the new story?

  • What’s the untold story?

Students are stimulated to dive deeper into the meaning of the proposed picture. Looking at it isn’t enough. They are encouraged to think about the global and individual stories behind the image. While doing so, they discover themselves as storytellers. 

This technique allows students to use their imagination, practice empathy, and think beyond the surface. This is a great way to practise new skills straight away.