Lesson Plan: The Roots of Interpretation


This The Roots of Interpretation — Good Stories Well-Told Lesson Plan [PDF] guides interpretive trainees through activities to identify the qualities of effective interpretation. Trainees will discuss what they already know that works well, and consider how to build from that solid foundation to adopt/include more audience-centered strategies.

This lesson plan was developed for the Forging Connections Through Audience Centered Experiences classroom training. You can use or adapt it for seasonal training or other park interpretive training and it will be useful at all developmental levels.


At the end of the session trainees should be able to:

  • List 5 necessary qualities of an effective interpretive program
  • Explain the need for changing interpretive techniques and theory in order to keep up with changing needs of the audience

Looking For More on Audience Centered Experiences?

Audience Centered Experience Button - Two Pictogram Visitors talking to a pictogram rangerYou can find much more self-guided learning and all of the materials for making yourself an ACE in the Audience Centered Experience Interpretation workbook.

Interpretive Leadership button - a pictogram ranger leading a group of other rangers higherYou can find links to seasonal lesson plans which support this emerging skill set in the Audience Centered Experience Trainers’ Guide.

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  1. The roots of interpretation – what an excellent lesson plan. I read through it and then watched the videos. The carousel “Mad Men” one made me cry. So powerful and the perfect tool for driving home the objectives of the lesson plan. Very well done! Thanks for sharing – but darn you for making me cry.


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