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Choosing What Story To Tell
40 min Age 13-16 16+


After you conduct an interview, how do you select how to structure and frame your story out of all of the possible details you have collected? Choosing what type of story to tell, is the first step to structuring your information into a narrative that places the person you have interviewed at the center. This lesson is focused on the planning stage of creating a short documentary based on an interview they conduct. It will allows students to explore different lenses through which they can focus a story, and enables them to apply that knowledge on a transcribed interview, in order to pick the type of story they would like to tell. 

The lesson plan How To Tell The Story, is a natural follow-up lesson, that invites students to write a voiceover narration and plan a short documentary focused on the person interviewed. 

You can also view the lesson plan Telling A Real Story, which works well as an introduction to this lesson since it focuses on developing students’ interviewing skills.  

This lesson was developed as part of Your Story project, which was funded by the US Department of State, Alumni TIES and World Learning. 

Learning Objectives
  • To explore different kinds of personal stories
  • To apply the types of stories to existing media products 
  • To evaluate and select the strong elements of an interview
  • To apply knowledge on the types of personal stories to shape a narrative 

Lesson Plan
Characterizing :
What are the different types of stories?
Evaluating :
How do you choose what to include in a story?
Applying :
Your turn: Plan the narrative arc of the story