Lesson Plan

Close Observation

Use photographs from Europe to compare and contrast students' own ideas
Sandy W.
Classroom teacher
Catalyst Charter Middle School
Ripon, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to:

  • Match their own ideas of a country with an actual photograph
  • Use clues to compare and contrast ideas
  • Explain how regions vary


Social Studies
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Background Knowledge

Free, Free to try, Paid

Write the word "observation" on the board.  Ask students to respond on the Padlet  wall to one of the following:

  • a synonym for the word
  • an example for the word from their lives
  • a definition of the word
Student Instructions

Students will go to the Padlet link that is given by the teacher and type their response on the Padlet board.

2 Observation

On the projector, display the first photo of Europe from the National Geographic site.

Put the following questions on the board:

  1. Does this photo look like Europe to you? Why or why not?
  2. Where do you think this is located? What clues in the photo helped you determine the location?
  3. What else can you see in this photo? What is happening? How can you tell?

Hand out the worksheet on making observations to each student. Show each of the photos in the gallery and have students complete the worksheet. Be sure to cover each of the captions for the photos.

Student Instructions

Watch each of the photos for clues and complete the worksheet.

3 Share Out

Have students to turn and talk at their tables about the observations they made. Ask students to give specific reasons about the inferences they made on the worksheet.

4 Confirm Identity

Show each of the photos again from the gallery and this time allow students to see the captions. Discuss what clues led them to make an inference when identifying the country. Emphasize that the thinking process is more important than the correct answer.

5 Reflection on Observation Skills

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Ask students to write a reflection on the Padlet wall to the following question:

How would you change your observations after completing this activity?