A picture Paints A Thousand Words


Pictures can be very valuable when teaching history. In the classroom pictures are not just decorations, they are learning resources. Often students can learn more about a topic from a picture than they can from a book. From this page you can access a number of worksheets that will assist in focus students learning experiences in analysing pictures. These worksheets are deigned to be generic, so you can change the questions given as examples, to suit the pictures you are using. The worksheets cover analysis, interpretation, concepts and comprehending the information in pictures. 

Pictures are valuable primary resources which can reveal information about the people, places, and events of the past. Using pictures in the classroom is a way to bring history to life pictorially. The following are questions which can be used to dissect and analyse many pictures.

What is happening in the picture?
What objects in the picture can you identify?
With which general time period are those objects associated? 
What would be the same or different if the picture were taken today?
What are the people in the image doing?
What do the facial expressions or body language suggest?
Where do you think the picture was made?
What characteristics of buildings or environment give you clues to the location?
Why do you think this picture was made?
What do you think the artist was trying to tell you?
What are the people wearing?
What is the relationship between the people in the picture
What structures are there in the picture? What are they used for?

      Is there any thing in this picture you cannot recognise? Monkey Shaking Head


When using pictures as documentary evidence, it is important to remember that pictures can be altered. Also, the picture may only represent a particular point of view. When using pictures for research, don't draw conclusions from just one print. Further sources must be utilised, such as historical records, other photos, or books.

See Lesson using Picture Analysis: Peasants Popes & Potentates


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Thank-you to Brian Hoepper @ QUT  for these concepts.

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