Picturing History:Analyzing and Researching Primary Source Images

Created By:
Mary Clark
Library Media Tech II
Organization/School Name:
San Elijo Middle

Grade Level:
Type of Lesson:
Stand-alone lesson
Type of Schedule:
Collaboration Continuum:
Content Area:
Social studies
Content Topic:
Analyzing media messages
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
Skills Indicator(s):
1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context.
1.1.7 Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias.
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.
Dispostion Indicator(s):
1.2.4 Maintain a critical stance by questioning the validity and accuracy of all information.
Responsibilities Indicator(s):
1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers.
Self-Assessment Strategies Indicator(s):
1.4.3 Monitor gathered information, and assess for gaps or weaknesses.
In an 8th grade U.S. history unit, students will research iconic photos to determine how photographs can influence personal opinion and public policy. The librarian and history teacher will collaboratively plan a lesson in which students research the backgrounds of several photos. Students will then analyze these photos using a graphic organizer to determine what features made them influential, looking specifically for point of view, bias, and social or cultural context. Using library books and online resources, students will choose a topic, find primary source images, and create a photo essay intended to influence others' opinions on their topic. Essays will be shared on Google Drive to allow for class conversation about students' topics.

Students will explore photos of events in U.S. history that impacted public opinion and public policy. As students work through the lesson, they will develop critical thinking and digital literacy skills. Essential questions include: Do all photographs include a message? Do all photos have embedded values or points of view? Do visual images have a different language than text? Can we develop a vocabulary to critically analyze photos and other visual media?

Final Product:
Students will compile images and text to create a short photo essay or video and upload and share on Google Drive to present to their class.

Library Lesson:
Students will learn to think critically about visual media, especially photographs; to understand copyright as it pertains to images; to conduct online research to find primary source images; to create visual essays; and to engage in discussion and critique of their own and their classmates' work.

Estimated Lesson Time:
120 minutes
Students will begin initial project by viewing a collection of photos, using a graphic organizer to analyze for social and cultural context, point of view and bias. Students will chose a topic, search online for primary source images on that topic,and create a photo essay. Students will assess their own work and that of their classmates using a rubric. The librarian and teacher will assess final project using a rubric.

Students will work in small assigned groups on research to find images on their topic. Students will be provided with a checklist to monitor their progress throughout the project.

Self Questioning:
Does each image i included reinforce the point of view or emotion I am trying to convey? Did I have difficulty finding images for my topic? Did I learn any search strategies that I think will be useful in future research? Did I review the rubric? Did I aim for exemplary status?

Instructional Plan
Resources students will use:
Still image (i.e.paintings, drawings, plans, and maps)
Interactive Resource (i.e. webpages, multimedia learning objects, chat services)
Text (books, letters, poems, newspapers, etc.)

Resources instructor will use:
Smart board

Direct instruction:
The librarian will introduce several iconic images. Students will discuss photos in small groups, using background knowledge to compare photos, and creating a list of reactions.

Modeling and guided practice:
The teacher and librarian will model analysis using The Teacher's Guide to Analyzing Photos and Prints from The Library of Congress <http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/resources/Analyzing_Photographs_and_Prints.pdf> The librarian will introduce the project, then provide websites where students can find additional primary source images.

Independent practice:
In small assigned groups of 3-4, students will analyze 2 or 3 of the photos presented by the librarian, completing a graphic organizer to demonstrate understanding of the analytical tools. Each group will then choose a topic to explore from a list provided by the teacher. Students will research their topics to find primary source images for a photo essay or video. Groups will compile their images using Google Presentation or WeVideo or another teacher-approved presentation tool. Groups will also upload their projects to their Google accounts and share via email with their teacher and class. Students will then view and comment on each group's final project. Each project must contain at least 4 images with proper citations. Each student will be required to comment on at least four group projects.

Have you taught this lesson before:

Strategies for differentiation:
The librarian will assist students who need additional instruction or assistance using the Internet. Students will be divided into heterogeneous groups to encourage discussion and summarizing for the written reflection.