Image Detective

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 11.31.56 PM

This website is used to help K-12 students use context clues to understand historical photographs.  Students can start by reading About this Activity or dive into one of the nine photograph activities of different topics (“The West” or “Immigration”).  Each photograph lists a four-step process: pose a question; gather clues; get background info; and draw a conclusion.  Students work their way through each step, and in doing so, analyze the clues in the photo to figure out what is happening.

To access the website, click the screenshot or this link.

This activity focused on visual literacy can be a great tool for a social studies or language arts class in a middle or high school.  The language used in the directions and About the Activity are helpful and encouraging, putting the student in charge of their own learning.  The section emphasizes “In this activity there are no simple right answers!”

The design of the website is effective.  It guides students through each step in order of the process of understanding and analyzing images.  Students must ask a question before they can look for clues, and they must look for clues before they draw a conclusion about the image.

This activity could be done as a whole class, in small groups in class, or independently in or out of class.


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