“How do you make sense of what you see when you look at an image, especially if that image comes with no caption, headline, links or other clues about its origins? What can constructing meaning from an image teach you?” – The New York Times
I’ve always loved The New York Times “What’s Going On In This Picture” feature. Each week, they choose a picture and ask students to answer three simple questions: What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can you find? Students are allowed the opportunity to form their own interpretations and share ideas. They are encouraged to post their findings and cite evidence to prove their argument. Throughout this process, students are engaged, developing critical thinking skills and constructing knowledge.
As teachers, we are always looking for lessons to meet our content standards. Both The New York Times and the Library of Congress have lesson plans and teaching resources already created (or that can be modified) that incorporate their images and non-fiction informational texts. As we teach students techniques for critically evaluating images/documents, it is also important to remember that we are teaching them skills that will help them identify fake news and become better digital citizens.
Below is a list of potential lesson ideas and teaching resources:
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