Friday, April 19, 2013

Analyzing Historical Images....Debunking Time Travel

Analyzing Historical Images

There is that old adage "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words." It definitely can be an important skill for young Historians to be able to analyze Historical images. The TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus has lots of great resources for History Teachers on using Primary Sources Material. My state has yet to adopt the Common Core Standards, but Primary Source Nexus has a great resource on how image analysis ties into Common Core: analyzing historical images can connect to the Common Core Literacy Standards.

If you are new to using image analysis in your classroom, The Library of Congress has a powerful learning module on Analyzing Primary Sources: Prints and Photos. This can be a great tool for staff development on how to use the Library of Congress resources.

I want a fun way for students to to be introduced to this skill for next year. So I've always thought it would be fun to use famous historical images to create a mashup with something in the picture that doesn't necessarily belong there, such as your's truly.

By giving students some a practice image such as this one, might be a way for students to look closely at details of an image.

Photoshop is probably the best to create these "photobombs" but I was able to use the Alpha tool in Apples Pages to spice images together and use iPhoto to add Black and White effects to the images.

Primary Source Nexus has a good Image Analysis Pyrmaid to help focus students thoughts that I'm looking forward to using with my students:

The trick is to get students to focus on the details, listing the facts, looking at historical context, speculating perspectives, being critical of things that don't make sense, and raising more questions to than they answer.

I also think it might be fun to have students create their own Historical Mashups or photobombs as a creative writing assignment. What would they see or hear in some of history's most famous photos. That sounds like a great future blog post.

What are some ways you introduce image analysis in your class? Love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

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