U.S. History Photo Detective Icebreaker Game!

Grade Levels
7th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PPTX
23 pages
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Primary source analysis, completely visual. Only resources students need is paper, pen, and brain!

A great group activity for U.S. History students for back to school! Better than a regular icebreaker, this activity gets students to work together as detectives to try and figure out what is going on in the historical photo.

Some are funny, some are serious, and all are interesting ---and it always gets students laughing together and it surprises them that history can be so interesting. Really good at getting the students to think like historians, and analyze images for information. (Just like they'll need to do for EOC political cartoons etc.)

For online / distance learning students may either type their responses or submit them as a photograph of written work for distance learning.

Topics within the activity go from the late 1800s to Modern U.S. history.

Each slide with a photo has the unlabeled photo up first, then with a click the caption is revealed. Give students a few minutes to jot down their clues and ideas and discuss with each other before revealing the backstory.

Works with students in Kagan groups or partners!


Did your students like this game?

Here is a World War 1 Themed Game!

Here is a World War 2 Themed Game!

I also made a Civil War Themed Game!


Here are my Research Projects for U.S. History:

Civil War Project

Reconstruction Project

Westward Expansion Project

Industrial Revolution and Urbanization Project

Labor Unions and Progressivism Project

Total Pages
23 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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