Lesson Plan

Mysterious Image

Geography Challenge: Identifying place based on an image
Lisa B.
Classroom teacher
Hershey Middle School
Hershey, PA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to utilize maps and prior knowledge to correctly determine where an image was taken.

Social Studies
Grades 6 - 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Review key political and physical features in Canada and the United States using Kahoot or Quizizz. This is necessary prior knowledge before the next step. 

2 Class Application

Using the Worksheet from the National Archives, practice making observations about a random picture. Pick an image that can have many answers, like mountains in the United States away from the Canada border (like this example in Utah). If the picture is taken during winter, there might be snow. It will challenge the assumption that snow = subarctic climate.

3 Small Group Application

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Divide the class into either 3 or 6 groups. Each group will be responsible for filling in one column of the chart. The chart has mystery latitude and longitude across the top and the types of thematic maps running down the side. Students fill in the information based on their one location after analyzing each thematic map.  This can be done on paper or as a collaborative Google Doc with an editor from each group. 

If you use Google Classroom, the teacher can create one version of the chart for each class period, then share the editable Google Doc with the entire class. While you wouldn't want everyone attempting to edit at once, you can have them look at it, with a designated editor in the group.

4 Evaluate Findings

After the chart is complete, the students log in to Nearpod  (join code: BLEIK) to see a 360° image of a mystery location. They have to determine the location based on the chart and what they observe. They will submit their guess as a Nearpod quiz question. 

Within the 360° image on Nearpod, they can use the screenshot feature to grab the evidence they will write about to explain why they thought it was a specific location.

5 Written Reflection

Activity: Other — Writing

Document Based Question and/ or Text-Dependent Analysis (if the chart/maps count as text) for which place they think was in the image and why. They must include a claim statement and specific evidence to support their idea.