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Activity 1 Topic 3


Description – Interpretation - Evaluation


50 minutes

Expected learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will be able to:


  • Analyse actions through different perspectives, independently from one’s own cultural background

  • Recognise aspects influencing perceptions

  • Analyse cultural cross-overs


Analysis of critical incidents, Critical thinking

Required resources

Objects or photographs which are not clearly identifiable, to be distributed to each group.


Annex I. Example D-I-E Method – Description-Interpretation-Evaluation

Annex II. D-I-E Worksheet

Annex II. Examples of pictures


The method “Description- Interpretation- Evaluation” (D-I-E), is a helpful tool to analyse intercultural cross-over situations and gain a better understanding of other cultures. Generally, people tend to look at situations or interpret them through their own cultural glasses and therefore often understand neither the behaviour of other people nor their values and norms which are behind it.  



Divide your students into groups of 3-5.


Step 1

An object or photograph that may have several meanings is chosen and shown to the classroom (you may use the same for the whole classroom or distribute a different one to each smaller group of students). It will be distributed to each group of students to be seen/felt/touched. Now, each group will describe the object/picture. This should not last longer than 2-3 minutes.  The answers are written down on a flipchart. These should be collected according to the D-I-E categories; yet, at this moment, do not name the different phases (description- interpretation -evaluation).


Step 2 

The analysis instrument D-I-E is explained. The participants now have to analyse a new object/photograph using this method. Let them describe the object, and correct them if they are already interpreting it. Spend 5 minutes on this part: 

  1. Description: Describe the object (or situation, or photograph) as precisely as possible. What happened? What was said and/or done? It is important to ‘stretch’ the description. There is a lot more to be seen on a picture. Invite your students to observe in a detailed way. Strong observation is a weapon against prejudice!

  2. Interpretation: Find possible explanations or interpretations (at least 2) for what you have seen or experienced. 

  3. Evaluation: Evaluate what you have seen or experienced. What (positive/negative) feelings do you have with regard to the object or the situation?  


Step 3 

In small groups, the situation that the participants themselves have experienced (or the photograph or object) should be described using the D-I-E method.

Relevant topics for discussion

  • How was the method helpful?

  • Which difficulties did you encounter? 

  • What did you learn about yourself? And about the others?

  • Do you believe an image can tell the whole story?

To conclude, discuss with your students why an image has power and what risk an image carries (e.g. stereotypes, fake news, bias).

Share stories, photos and videos from your class while using this Activity!

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