Using Pictures in Lessons
One of the advantages of having computers and an Internet connection in schools is that it allows teachers and students to make use of the resources available on the Internet. Since teachers have not always had access to large numbers of pictures and other graphic resources, the NCRTEC is providing some lesson plans created by teachers that demonstrate some ways in which pictures and other graphic resources might be useful in a classroom. The intent is not to provide lessons that other teachers would use straight "out of the box", but to provide some ideas about how pictures might be effective in their own lessons.
Some of the strategies in these lesson plans are:
A frequent strategy for helping students extract information from pictures is:
- Bridge time and space
(Pictures from the Civil War or from Mars)
- Simplify the complex
(Maps and charts which show only the necessary data)
- Make the abstract concrete
(Real-life instances of fractions or geometry)
- Challenge preconceptions
(Pictures of a summer day in an Icelandic city)
- Provide context
(The odd legs and neck of a flamingo being used to find food in shallow water)
- Develop aesthetic appreciation
(Photographs showing the beauty of a wetland area)
- Practice identification
(Sorting pictures of reptiles and mammals)
- Start by having students examine the picture.
- Ask students to describe what they have observed.
- Have the class discuss differences in observations.
- Ask students to interpret what they have seen.
- Have students defend any conflicting interpretations by referring to the original picture.
Where Did You Get Those Ears?
Genetics, high school, Grades 9-10
- How Weeds Impact Agriculture and Modes of Eradication
Agriculture II, Grade 10
- Blues, Jazz, and Rock 'n' Roll Music on the Mississippi
Music with Social Studies and Geography integration, Grades 7-8
- Wetland: Past, Present, Future
Ecology, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, Grades 5-8
- What Do You See?
Language Arts and Writing, Grades 3-6
- Biome Investigation
Science, Math, and Technology, Grades 4-6
- Fractions in Pictures
Fractions, Grades 5-8
- Using Pictures to Compare Lifestyles of Native Americans Past and Present
Culture of Native Americans in Present-Day Society, Grades 4-6
- Properties of Matter
Physical Science, Grade 1
- Technological Advances in Communication:The Pony Express Rides the Information Highway
Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Grade 5 and up
- Where Should I Put This Business? A GIS Simulation and How It Can Work for You
Geography, Math, Social Studies, and General Science, Middle School
- Graphic Literacy: How to Help Your Students Get the Most Out of Pictures
Any Graphic Content Material, K-12