Organising images for a narrative

From OER in Education

Write an essay without words

Lesson idea. This is a very open activity. Students use cameras to take photographs showing a science / maths process. They then use photo organiser / slideshow software to arrange their images to represent the process they need to show. They use the software to label and add notes to the images. Their aim is to describe a process without the need for significant amounts of text. The students could use Picasa or PowerPoint to do this, they might use stop-motion photography to show growth or the movement of the sun. These remarkable photos of a Japanese earthquake ( are an example of the power of photography for narrative purposes.

Suggested contexts for photography:

  • How shadow lengths vary during the day.
  • A science investigation or everyday practical activity.
  • The germination of a plant seed over some weeks.
  • A walk around the school grounds looking for animal habitats.
  • In a science activity, students might photograph different stages of a measurement (visualising data).
  • In a maths activity, students might photograph different stages of the 'stones investigation'.

Teaching approach. The lesson encourages students to think about how to portray their knowledge through narrative(ta) - which may engage some students who would usually be less interested. The lesson encourages students to think about how to capture valuable information and ensure that key elements are highlighted while not 'overloading' the viewer with data. The lesson can be tailored to any age group - for younger pupils the task could be to take before and after photos and label them. More advanced pupils might explore time-lapse photography. Pupils should be encouraged to think about how this relates to the scientific method(ta) The task is interactive and could be conducted as a group work(ta) activity or as an element of an inquiry-based learning project. It could also lend itself to whole class(ta) dialogue(ta) and the use of ICT(i) including 'clicker' response systems for assessment(ta) and questioning(ta). (edit)

Resource details
Title Organising images for a narrative
Topic [[Topics/Using images|Using images]]
Teaching approach

[[Teaching Approaches/Assessment|Assessment]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Dialogue|Dialogue]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Narrative|Narrative]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Homework|Homework]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Questioning|Questioning]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Whole class|Whole class]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Group work|Group work]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Scientific method|Scientific method]]

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson pupils should be able to:

  • outline some reasons for using diagrams and images in scientific work,
  • depending on group age: outline some difficulties with displaying images accurately; flaws of imaging technology,
  • understand ways to create a narrative with images and software.
Format / structure

A lesson component, a whole lesson, a homework(ta) or self-directed task


[[Resources/Maths|Maths]],  [[Resources/Science|Science]]

Age of students / grade

[[Resources/Secondary|Secondary]],  [[Resources/Primary|Primary]]

Additional Resources/material needed
Related ORBIT Wiki Resources