Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Different Ways to Tell a Story

Length of Time:   Time out of Class for Research; Time in Class for Presentations


Visual Images are powerful ways to learn about the past.  They help us construct narratives, tell stories of what happened.  This lesson begins with six amazing images. Each tells part of the story of the Civil War in a different way–from song covers to campaign poster.  In this lesson you will be shown different options of how to have your students both understand and construct narratives using these images.  We are including some background to give you information that you may share with your students.

Essential Questions

What are the different ways to tell a story?
Does the medium (the way you tell the story) affect what you are trying to say?

Common Core Standards

English/Language Arts: Anchor Standards: CCSR for Writing

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

English Language Arts: Reading: Informational Text: Grades 3-4

RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.


English Language Arts: Reading: Integration of Ideas and Information, Grades 2-4

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Content Standards