Same Event, Different Views

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11071

There are two sides to every story. At least. Even with the evidence at hand, people interpret it in different ways. View a controversial incident and several articles and draw your own conclusions!


Social Studies

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Life can be like a work of art: people can interpret it so many ways.

  • Can you think of a time when you experienced something with a friend or family member, but came away with a totally different understanding of it?

It is often hard to figure out the meaning of past events based on the evidence we have.

Take a look at this famous very-short story, The Scarlatti Tilt, by Richard Brautigan. Then, write out your interpretation of the story:

  • What do you think happened?
  • Why do you think so?
  • What are other possible interpretations?
  • What are the actual facts in the case?
  • What information would help you make a better decision?

Share the story with someone and see if his or her interpretation is different from yours, or, if not, challenge each other to come up with different explanations.


  • What causes this story to be open to multiple interpretations?
  • What causes life events to be open to multiple interpretations?
  • Write your responses in your notebook, then share and discuss with a parent or teacher.

Now, continue on to the Got It? section to try your powers of interpretation!

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