Historians use a rich variety of sources to determine what happened in the past. Too often, students only think of written sources (books, letters, diaries) when considering on historical research. Use “How to Interpret a Picture” to lead students through historical analysis of a visual source (a photograph, a painting, etc. of your choice) to enrich students’ understanding not only of the content being studied, but also the historians craft.
Using “How to Interpret a Picture,” students will examine visual evidence to determine the location and time period of a picture, as well as the messages contained within the source. Several questions require students to cite specific visual evidence. As visual sources are part of the “text” that historians use to learn about the past, questions such as these tap into the Common Core’s focus on textual evidence. This resource also helps students practice inference skills.
This resource contains the reproducible “How to Interpret a Picture” form for student use, as well as tips for educators to maximize the impact of this resource.