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Practice Annotation & Primary Source Analysis Using Family Photos

A fun and engaging way to teach annotation using family photos

Students often have a hard time knowing what to "see" in images we use in the classroom to help them investigate various topics in history.  While there are many guides to help us ask the right questions, there are few activities that allow us the opportunity to practice the skill in a fun and friendly way.  This one is quick, easy, and will do the trick!
  • Have students bring in family pictures of their choice.  Action shots are the best!
  • Make photo copies of the photographs leaving plenty of white space around each.
  • Distribute the copies throughout the class, allowing each student to have 3-4 of their classmate's photos.
  • Direct students to annotate what they see and to create caption bubbles to detail the scene or situation in the image.
  • Finally, have each student share their picture with an explanation of what was actually taking place and being said at the time.  Allow discussion to compare what students analyzed versus the reality!
A fun and engaging way to teach annotation using family photos
Once your students have had practice with fun photos from their friends, move onto pictures from newspapers, magazines, or popular movies.  In no time, your students will be image primary source analysis experts!

If you like this tip for your classroom, please consider following my blog or my Pinterest board for using primary sources!  Also, be sure to hop through the other posts to find an amazing assortment of Bright Ideas for your classroom!


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