Images and Their Role in Narrative Reasoning

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Students will be creating and writing a story for an image that has been assigned to them. The students will not have time to research the images prior to writing the story. After the students have completed their stories, stories and their reasoning for developing that story using the the photographs artifacts. The students will share their stories with their groups and compare and contrast their views as well as argue their use of the artifacts in describing the image. As a finale the images origins will be revealed, and the students will have chance to write twist, and or, closure to their stories.


This lesson introduces students to the active role imagery is utilized in media. Imagery will be studied in order to determine usage and appropriateness to the story that it accompanies.

Expected Lesson Duration:

Lesson is expected to last 1-2 days.

Interdisciplinary Connection(s) to Common Core

Preparing to Teach this Lesson:

  • Images to be used in “Images of Heinous Beginnings” Project.

Student Handouts:

There are no handouts for this lesson as it is project based.

Lesson Procedure:

Introduction/Gain Attention

  • Daily Meme: The class will begin with an activity that will require students to write a brief story using an image displayed by the instructor.


  • After the daily meme the students will be introduced to the next project, the images of heinous beginnings.

  • The students will be split up into groups and each group will receive one image, the history of the image will not be known to the students. The students will have to use deductive reasoning in order to decipher the artifacts within the image and use their narrative reasoning to develop a story around the subject as well as the artifacts in order, developing a likely location of the subject, period of time, etc.

  • The story should contain all aspects of an essay except for a conclusion.

  • After the students have completed their essays, the students will share their works with the group.

  • The students must have a reasonable defense for the usage of their artifacts as well as their story, if not sound, their story is null and void. The students must balance their creativity with reasoning.

  • Each group will select one representative to share their story with the class.

  • After each group representative has shared their story the true identity of each individual will be revealed .

  • After the students have learned of their subjects true identities the students will get an opportunity to develop and implement a plot twist.

  • As new information arises the students must be willing to adapt their work to the changing ecosystem of their characters.

  • The plot twist must be relevant to the characters as well as the time period in which they are from.


  • Demonstrate ability to arrive at conclusions collaboratively, giving consideration to the ideas and justifications of group members.

  • Gain deductive reasoning skills by drawing conclusions from a single image.

  • Improve narrative reasoning skills by forming a unique story incorporating specific qualities.

  • Analyze different technicalities and possibilities in regards to forming a story from the image and selecting the most logical or fitting of options.

  • Exhibit creativity in creation of a unique story and expression of fixed details, such as assumed time period or scenario.

Content of Lesson:

  • Acquiring Key Concepts: discussion of narrative reasoning, identifying characteristics and context within a single image.

  • Engaging in Experiential Learning: identifying characteristics and context of a given image via narrative reasoning and analysis.

  • Building Proficiencies: incorporating the characteristics found in the image into the student’s unique storyline, and justifying the reasoning behind the characteristics.

  • Connecting with STEM Professionals: view a video interview with a director, writer, or historian in which they discuss the concepts focused on in class.

  • Assessing Learning: have students individually explain the methods they used to analyze their group’s given image. Also allow groups to compare their storyline and steps taken to those of their group members and other groups in class. Ask if students are able to agree with the characteristics other students identified following their given reasoning.

Closure and Review

  • Reiterate the importance of storytelling in media, describe the amount of written work that is consumed by media outlets and the amount of recycled material that continues to be recirculated due to the lack of new material.

  • Explain the importance of diversity in the storytellers and writers due to experiences and how it shapes our stories.

Higher Level Thinking Skills Noted

  • Developing a story from artifacts of an image of unknown origin

  • Adapting stories due to character developments

  • Perception due to appearance


The art and skill of storytelling that will be practiced in this class will help the students reasoning skills, cognitive constructive capabilities, and develop character. The creation of a narrative requires the student to develop a logical order from a sequence of events. In order for the student to develop a meaningful arrangement of events the student must begin to grow their narrative reasoning skills. These skills can evolve through the consumption and dissection of narrative literature, of a mixed medium. While developing of their narrative reasoning skills the students should/ will become more empathetic to others, wise to deciphering the true purpose of the story, and become comprehensive thinkers of their own circumstances. The students are finally at the age in which they are beginning to construct their own narratives. We, as educators, want them to be exposed to a great diversity of narratives in order mature those narrative reasoning skills. The more developed their narrative reasoning skills are the more they get from a story(deeper perspective). The more advanced their skills, the more likely they are to rationalize why this character chose a particular path, place themselves in the characters shoes, and develop their own character.

Explorations and Extensions:

What if the person looked dirty or filthy… would your story have changed? If so, what are the underlying reasons for the change?

Assessment Criteria for Success:

Content knowledge, student knowledge, and appropriate resources are aligned to instructional outcomes. student learning will be assessed throughout the lesson via question responses and correlation to the project.

Students will have successfully met the outcomes when fundamental questions about the importance of storytelling and its role in imagery can be observed through their writing and reflections of their peers work. Also questions about their current disposition are taken into consideration when they see media should begin to arise. Also a fluid and respectful use of time, along with an essay that is fluid, easy to follow, and retains its essentials as an ELA.

Modifications/Accommodations and Access for All:

A simpler version of Imagery and storytelling is already prepared if there are students that need to re-review the information. Also, if students need an alternate assignment due to their personal disposition to the material, Alterations will be easily made.

Implementation Feedback:

Students will receive feedback from their peers and instructor while they are sharing their story with their classmates. Students can then share what they felt about the project with their instructor; as well as what they gained from it, how it could have better benefited them, etc.


To be completed upon the end of lesson.

Other Important Course Development Information

Best Practices:

Exemplary Previous student work: