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Learning Activity

Every Picture Tells A Story

Learning Activity Illustration
Group Size
Age group
Under 16
16 - 18 years
19 - 25 years
26-35 years
36-50 years
51-80 years
Time Required

To be aware of how we create gaps in our knowledge. To be aware of the influence and power of our images on others.

Instructions for Educator
Step by Step Instruction

Introduce the activity telling the group that you are going to give each of them a picture, and individually they must write down what they think the picture is about; who the characters are, what is happening, where the action is taking place etc.

Step by Step Instruction

Give each participant a copy of the first half of the picture and 5 minutes to think and write their story. Ask the participants to share what they wrote.

Step by Step Instruction

Give them the second half of the picture and ask them to review their impressions of what they have seen.

Step by Step Instruction

The debriefing should provide an analysis about the ways in which we organise and review information.

What did you think the picture was about? Who were the people in the picture? Where were they? What were they doing? Why were they there?
Why did you imagine certain things (rather than others)?

Did the picture have a different meaning to different members of the group?
Did your ideas change when you saw the whole picture?
What happens if you then look at it again in a wider context and
get a different point of view?

Why is it hard to be honest about changing our minds?

Facilitation Tips

Before implementing the activity facilitators should search a collection of pictures that can be cut in two so that separately each half ‘tells a story’, but when put together gives a ‘different story’.

Ideas for follow-up

Different perceptions about the same fact exist everywhere. There are videos and short films addressing this issue.

Developing critical thinking you may consider taking the headlines on different newspapers from different countries and see how is depicted there the same piece of information. Reflect in why this is happening.