Picturing History:Analyzing and Researching Primary Source Images
Created By:Mary Clark
Title/Role:Library Media Tech II
Organization/School Name:San Elijo Middle
Type of Lesson:Stand-alone lesson
Type of Schedule:Combination
Content Area:Social studies
Content Topic:Analyzing media messages
Scenario: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.
Overview: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
Have you taught this lesson before:No
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.