Take a Closer Look – Close Reading Historical Images

Teachers are looking for resources for online instruction. So I am reposting lessons from my Social Studies Methods Course at the University of Portland’s School of Education. See original post here.

Today’s class will focus on finding and curating historical content – in this case images. Our focus will be on sourcing material that is in public domain using our historical archive resources.

Most materials are in the public domain if they were produced before 1923. I see this as roughly equivalent to everything that happened in the world up to and including World War I! If you’re looking for newspaper articles in Chronicling America, for example, you will note that coverage ends in 1922. 

Primary sources produced by the federal government are normally in the public domain both before and after the magic copyright date of 1923. That explains why we as teachers can use the fabulous oral history interviews of former slaves collected between 1936 and 1938 by workers from the Federal Writers’ Project.

Class Session

Class will open with a discussion on strategies for supporting remote learning – both in our course and our student placements. 

Next, Peter will share some information on public domain and Creative Commons. He will also share strategies for searching using a selection of historical archives

Students will then practice:

  1. find a historical image
  2. download it
  3. get citation information and source URL
  4. adding image to practice post
  5. include citation with active hyperlink back to source in image caption 

Lastly, Peter will introduce this week’s assignment and some strategies for working with WordPress to create learning activities base on close readings of historical images. 

Assignment 2 

IMAGE DETECTIVE CHOICE 1: (INSPIRED BY CROP IT LESSON)

Being able to find and curate historical source material is a foundation of historical thinking. This activity merges three Instuctional goals: finding / curating historical sources, looking closely at historical sources and using WordPress tools to add images and hyperlinks. It will help students learn how to find material for future lesson design activities. 

Here’s some sample student work from Fall 2019. 

  1. find 3 historical images
  2. for each image: provide full image with citation in hyperlink back to source
  3. then add a of crop area of each image to show one of the following clues (add clue in the image caption) Tips on how to crop an image
  4. Put all content into a post. Give it a clever title. Include a featured image.
Possible questions:
  1. who or what this image is about.
  2. where this takes place.
  3. when this happened or was created.
  4. what is the creator’s point of view or purpose.
  5. something I have a question about

Example: Image with two crops

African American Soldiers in an Automobile Source
When? It’s an upside down 1919 NYS license plate. I think they are returning Black WWI soldiers in a parade.
These Black soldiers are being honored in a parade. Knowing 1919 is in the Jim Crow / KKK era, I wonder what else faced them back in America?

IMAGE DETECTIVE CHOICE 2: CREATE AN IMAGE COMPARE

WordPress now has a built in “Image Compare” block. Find a two suitable images to compare and use the compare to explore continuity and change. 

Do the image compare for two sets of images. So you will have two separate “image compares” with guiding questions for each.

Possible questions exploring continuity and change:
  1. what is the same?
  2. what is different? 
  3. what do the similarities and differences tell us?
  4. how are they explained by historical events / trends?
1897 topographic map of Portland, OR compared to Google Maps
Possible questions raised by comparison:
  1. How has geography shaped the development of Portland?
  2. Why is PDX airport likely in its current location? How is that location both and asset and a liability?
  3. What’s the history of Vanport? How did geography intersect with race and history to cause its demise?

Resources

Note that this post uses JuxtaposeJS to create the same image compare (it was before it came to WordPress). So ignore that aspect and focus on examples of comparative images and my technique for getting best image alignment. I used Google slides in video. But same technique would work in Apple Keynote. 

Here’s a video where I demonstrate how to align the images and export as image files using Google slides. Ignore the fact I was using JuxtaposeJS. I start it about a minute in.
Here’s how to get Keynote into a portrait shaped size for comparing portrait images. Set custom size to 768 width by 1024 height
In Keynote change document format to a vertical portrait shape
In Keynote change document format to a vertical portrait shape
Here’s how to align images. 

Click on image. Then open Format window. Click on Style. Then adjust the opacity slider to where you want it. Once you have images aligned, remove all opacity. Duplicate the slide with one image on each.

Click on image. Format:style: opacity
Click on image. Format:style: adjust opacity
Then export the two slides as images to use in your image compare
Export slides as images
Export slides as images

Feature image uses photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Close Reading Historical Documents

Close Reading Historical Documents

Teachers are looking for resources for online instruction. So I am reposting lessons from my Social Studies Methods Course at the University of Portland’s School of Education. See original post here.


Teachers can use historical documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based  instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:

  1. The right documents. (shouldn’t be reliant on background knowledge)
  2. Knowing how to “read” the historical document.
  3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then asking students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
  4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.

In Class 7 we will practice some strategies for assisting students to more closely read a document (in all their multimedia formats) by answering three Common Core questions. Broad version:

  1. What does it say?
  2. How does it say it?
  3. What’s it mean to me?

More specifically, what do we mean by close reading? Teachers can guide students with scaffolding questions that explore “texts” (in all their forms).

Key Ideas and Details:

What does the text say? Identify the key ideas. What claims does the author make? What evidence does the author use to support those claims?

Craft and Structure:

Who created the document? What’s their point of view / purpose? How did the text say it? How does it reflect its historic time period?

Integration of Knowledge and ideas

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Recognize disparities between multiple accounts. Compare text to other media / genres. How does it connect to what we’re learning? 

And what’s it mean to me?

IN CLASS ACTIVITY 

Find a historical image and pair it with one of the Primary Source Icebreakers. The post to the padlet below. Include title of icebreaker, response to prompt and hyperlinked source of image. (See example below) These icebreakers are from TPS Connect at MSU Denver.

Source TPS Connect

Made with Padlet
  • target audience
  • content (what will be studied)
  • process (what will you do – what will students do)
  • resources for lessons

Teaching Historical Thinking Skills

Historical thinking skills lesson

Teachers are looking for resources for online instruction. So I am reposting lessons from my Social Studies Methods Course at the University of Portland’s School of Education. See original post here.


Our class begins with a review of the Sam Wineburg reading and TEDEd flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom? (That will also provide a chance to discuss the efficacy of flipping content.  What are the challenges and opportunities for that approach?)

Today we begin our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key historical thinking skills – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroboration. See Historical Thinking Chart  (pdf in English and Spanish at SHEG).

We will get inspired by some SHEG lessons from their collections Reading Like a Historian and Beyond the Bubble.

Here’s what a Google From looks like: Photograph – Zulu Chief
Here are some student designed SHEG-inspired lessons that are delivered using Google Forms
  1. Reconstruction Cartoon – Thomas Nast
  2. Photograph – “War is Hell” 
  3. Film clip – Charlie Chaplin film clip
  4. Political Cartoon – Votes for Women

IN CLASS PRACTICE 
Click image to go to curated collection of historical sources to practice using Google Forms | Source
ASSIGNMENT 3 | COMPLETED POSTS 19A-3

Design a mini lesson based on one of the historical thinking skills in a Google Form and embed into your next post. 

Google form lesson should include:

  1. Title
  2. Document to be considered – image or video (or short text passage)
  3. Archival source of document (be sure it’s in public domain)
  4. One or more questions for user to answer. 
  5. Instructional goal

Then get embed the Google form in post (more instructions below). Be sure your blog post has: 

  1. Title for your mini-lesson. Why not make it catchy? 
  2. Featured image (could be created with your archival photo)
  3. Embedded Google form
  4. Brief reflection on the mini lesson, historical skill or use of Google form in classroom

TECH RESOURCES FOR LESSON

More tips on using Google forms here

How to get an embed code for your Google form

How to HTML Snippets to embed your Google form into WordPress post. Note in this example I begin by getting the embed code from a Padlet. Once you have the any embed code on your “clipboard” you can use HTML Snippets in WordPress

Curating Historical Content

Curating Historical Content

Teachers are looking for resources for online instruction. So I am reposting lessons from my Social Studies Methods Course at the University of Portland’s School of Education. See original post here.


Most materials are in the public domain if they were produced before 1923. I see this as roughly equivalent to everything that happened in the world up to and including World War I! If you’re looking for newspaper articles in Chronicling America, for example, you will note that coverage ends in 1922. 

Primary sources produced by the federal government are normally in the public domain both before and after the magic copyright date of 1923. That explains why we as teachers can use the fabulous oral history interviews of former slaves collected between 1936 and 1938 by workers from the Federal Writers’ Project.



Focusing your search using a search operator. [site:loc.gov]

Image Detective Activity (inspired by Crop It lesson)

Being able to find and curate historical source material is a foundation of historical thinking. This activity merges three instructional goals: finding / curating historical sources, looking closely at historical sources and using WordPress tools to add images and hyperlinks. It will help students learn how to find material for future lesson design activities. 

  1. Find 3 historical images – use these historical archive sites
  2. For each image: provide full image with citation in hyperlink back to source
  3. Then add a of crop area of each image to show one of the following clues (add clue in the image caption) Tips on how to crop an image
  4. Put all content into a post. Give it a clever title. Include a featured image.
  • who or what this image is about.
  • where this takes place.
  • when this happened or was created.
  • what is the creator’s point of view or purpose.
  • something I have a question about

Example: Image with two crops

African American Soldiers in an Automobile Source
When? It’s an upside down 1919 NYS license plate.
I think they are returning Black WWI soldiers in a parade.
These Black soldiers are being honored in a parade. Knowing 1919 is in the Jim Crow / KKK era,
I wonder what else faced them back in America?

In class practice images. Choose one. Add to a sample post. Include source hyperlink and crop with comment. 

  1. Smartly dressed couple seated on an 1886-model bicycle for two 1886. Source
  2. The 8th Avenue trolley, NYC, sharing the street with horse-drawn produce wagon and an open automobile 1904 Source
  3. Automobile helped through sandy wash onto mesa 1911. Source
  4. Women’s Machine Gun Squad Police Reserves, New York City 1918 Source
Sample student work from this assignment
Notice some of the fashion choices of these women. For example, all but one of these women have chosen to wear pants rather than skirts. Do you think this was a normal clothing choice for women in the 1920s? Could their outfits be related to the social statement they are making?
This photo of a bakery is taken in 1922.
The languages on sign include Armenian, Ladino, English, Greek and Russian.

What Do You See: Visual Thinking Strategies in Action

Visual thinking strategies in action

I’m pleased to be offering a pair of workshops in Eugene Ore this month on how to enhance instruction using visual thinking strategies. (hosts: Oregon Writers Project / STELLAR.)

In the workshops I will guide participants through practical examples of:

  • VTS as a model for inquiry learning
  • Teaching inquiry with documents
  • Blending visual & critical thinking with literacy

Student critical thinking skills can be activated when students are guided in close reading of visual documents. Key questions include:

  1. What does it (image) say?
  2. How does it say it?
  3. What’s it mean to me?

Try it out yourself by comparing these two photographs (How I made this image blend)

I think visual literacy approach has application across the curriculum and grade levels. I’ve included a copy of the presentation handout. What do you see handout 4mb pdf

Here’s some more resources:

  • How I used historical images to guide students through developing summarizing skills. Link
  • Teacher Resource guides from the University of the Arts / Library of Congress Link
  • “Five Card Flickr Stories” A great tool for building and narrating visual stories. Link
  • “Which one does not belong” A growing collection of pattern recognition puzzles Link