Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story from an Image

Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story from an Image


Use this exercise to get the delegates design a story based on a single image. The choice of these images can greatly influence the exercise, so use this much like a template to craft a training exercise based on your specific needs.


Make a story based on the image you are given.

What You Need

  • Dramatic images. You need one image for each pair of delegates. Your selection of these images comes to define the exercise so it is important to choose them carefully based on your training needs. A couple of examples are given above. Aim for dramatic images with symbolic meanings embedded in them so delegates can easily take them in different directions.
  • Papers


  • Divide the delegates to pairs. If you have an odd number of delegates, use a group of 3.
  • Distribute one photo to each group.
  • Explain to each group that based on the photo they should make a story. The story should be designed in such a way that the photo given to them comes to become the defining moment in the story. For example, it could be a moment of significant revelation and discovery or the moment when a life changing decision has been made.
  • Allocate 30 to 45 minutes for the groups to design their stories and then write it down.
  • The story should be about 600 to 1000 words.
  • After the allocated time, bring delegates back together and ask each group to read their story to others while showing their image to them.
  • Encourage other delegates to provide feedback as necessary on the structure of the story and how well it relates to the image.
  • Continue with each group by allowing 10 minutes each until everyone has presented.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 30 to 45 min story making + (10 min * N) presenting stories = 70 to 85 minutes for 4 groups.

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


Whose story impressed you the most? What was special about that story? How did you find the process of story making? Did you approach the story making systematically? What method worked best and what did not?

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