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Students develop their logic and narrative skills, using this augmented reality mobile app to post symbols on their school campus. Each symbol corresponds to a passage the student has written.

grade level:
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Created by
Mylo Lam
Curriculum Developer and Researcher

AURASMA overview

Aurasma provides an image-recognition software for creating and sharing augmented reality experiences. Users pan with their mobile device cameras to scan images in their physical environment to trigger a separate image or video to play on their screens.
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Experience breakdown


Aurasma can encourage learners to go beyond the classroom to connect and enhance what they learn by pulling resources from the physical and the digital and then sharing those augmented reality scenes with others.

lesson plan overview

In this activity, students use Aurasma’s image-recognition software to develop their narrative writing and logic thinking skills through creating their own scavenger hunts. They first explore their school campus and choose three or four locations for their narratives. Students are then asked to use those locations for writing a story, sequencing events so that each part of the story corresponds to a location and one location leads to the other (we suggest having students attempt to write a mystery story as it is conducive for this activity). They then create a unique symbol for each location and make an aura for them. This allows their fellow students to use Aurasma, going from location to the next to reveal more of the story.

Flickr credit: pablo lizardo

While organizing this activity may require some time to think through and involves asking the school’s permission to post small symbols on campus, it also teaches students to organize their thoughts carefully and personalize their writing by constructing a narrative about an environment they are familiar with.

Learning Objectives

  • Write a multi-part fictional narrative that logically ties in with actual locations on the school campus.
  • Create an engaging narrative experience for the reader through expressive and provocative narration, animation, and/or images.
  • Evaluate and deconstruct the narratives of others through class-wide discussion and reflection of own narrative.

lesson steps

STEP 1. First, explain to students that they will be writing a fictional story that takes place in three (or more) different locations on their school campus. Each part of their story will take the reader from one location to the other; only after the reader has visited a location will they have access to a part of the story.

  • NOTE: At the first location’s story, writers should also provide hints to the readers of where the second location is. The second location should have clues that lead to the third location and so on.

STEP 2. Then have students explore their school campus and choose three to four locations where they want their story to take place.


Flickr credit: Beedle Um Bum

STEP 3. With the school’s permission, have them create three to four different symbols on small index cards that they could post on walls, hallways, or on the ground. These symbols should be unique and have some clear details since it will serve as the trigger images for their auras. Below are examples of symbols that may be suitable (students can also draw their symbols).

Flickr credit (left to right): Shenghung Lin, Opacity, Chace of Spades

STEP 4. Once students have chosen their locations, have them write their narrative. Suggest to them that writing a mystery narrative may be the most conducive to this type of activity, since it offers motivation to the reader to unravel the story by traveling from location to location.
STEP 5. Then have them either snap a clear picture of their story’s text or narrate it. If narrated, students should attempt to build suspense or engagement through their use of voice. Encourage students to also include animations or pictures with their story.

A sample passage of a student's story. At the end of the paragraph, the writer provides a hint to the reader to locate the next symbol and uncover more of the story.

STEP 6. Using Aurasma, students overlay each part of their story’s text or narration with a different symbol and post the symbol on the locations they chose previously.

STEP 7. They then create a channel for their story and make it public.

STEP 8. Students can then share their stories and roam the school with Aurasma activated, unraveling each other’s narratives by venturing from one location to the other. The first symbol (and thus, the first part of the story) should be given to the reader at the beginning.


Readers are given the first symbol to scan with their Aurasma camera, which leads them to the second clue.


Readers then venture onto their school campus, in search of the second symbol. They can then use the Aurasma camera to scan the symbol and uncover more of the story.

STEP 9. After the class has experienced the stories, the teacher facilitates a discussion as students debrief on what narratives they enjoyed, why they enjoyed it, and how they could have improved their own stories after seeing the work of others.


Common Core - English Language Arts


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3 Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

ISTE NETS - Digital Age Skills

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
Process data and report results
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
topic discussion
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