Lesson Plan

Thinking About Place and Events: Deconstructing a Photograph to Launch a Unit on the Ludlow Massacre

Analyzation of a primary source is often a simple task, but can be made deeper if students deconstruct the photo in three easy steps and then apply what they have learned in an independent analysis of another source

Students will be able to...

*Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions

* Analyze a primary source and develop key questions that will aide in further research.



English Language Arts
using supporting evidence
Social Studies
cultural understanding
Grades 4 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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1) Select three coordinating apporpriate primary source photos from the Library of Congress website or another resource which supports the instruction of particular subject or topic. Many are available -- and often an historic photo will offer many questioning opportunities.Try to find photos that are about the same study topic but are enough different that they offer unique analyzation opportunities.

For the purposes of this lesson plan I have selcted photos from the Ludlow Massacre, a little known event in Colorado which is honored with a 100th anniversary this year and which still haunts southern Colorado as a terrible event. They are located at these URLs for reference:

Photo 1:http://cdm15330.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/33173

Photo 2: http://cdm15330.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/35341

Photo 3: http://cdm15330.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/35363

2) Place both of the photos in Prezi so that instructionally they can be projected or students can access the link to zoom into and look closely at the pictures. 

3) When students enter the room, project the image and have them look at it closely without talking.

4) Minimize the photo for reaccess and move to the next step.




2 Direct Instruction

One of the largest focuses of Common Core State Standards, as well as good historical thinking process and literacy is the deep analysis of a primary source, providing an opportunity for inference, and then asking additional questions for further research. By moving students through this sequence, critical thinking will increase. 

The Library of Congress has rich analysis tools in their Teacher Resources. Locate the Primary Source Analysis Tool, and bring it up on the screen. The tool is interactive, and can be typed on and printed out or downloaded. You can access the tool here: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/primary-source-analysis-tool/

Next Steps: 

1) Explain to the students that they will be analyzing primary sources together using this tool in the classroom and  that it is in paper and digital form.

2) Select a student recorder and allow them access to the analysis document digitally if possible on another computer or open it up in side by side windows on one computer. If you cannot do this, the form can be made into a poster and laminated and written on with a vis a vis, or a student can record information on the board/ poster while the image is projected on the screen.

3) Access the Prezi and return to the large scale photo.

4) Ask students to brainstorm together what they SEE in the photo. NOT what they know. Just what they see. 

5) Have the student recorder write down the brainstormed data in the first column of the analysis sheet. 

6) THEN, ask students to brainstorm what they think they know about the photo and have the student recorder write the information in on the analysis sheet in the second column. 

7) Finally, ask the students to brainstorm any questions they have about the photo and have the student recorder place them in the third column of the analysis sheet. Discuss with students the value of open and closed questions. Demonstrate how to change a closed question to an open one so that more data can be collected if it is used for research at a later time.

8) Save the sheet and download a copy of the form your student has created.  

3 Guided Practice

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Now the process can put the process in place digitally with students. 

Next Steps: 

1) Select the second photo from the collection placed in Prezi. Project the image in large format so that students can look at it closely. (The photos can be copied and handed out , or accessed on individual machines as well.)

2) Split the students into smaller working groups and have each group log into Spicynodes.

3) Using the same model of analysis have students repeat the process using three brainstorming nodes on Spicynodes. ( Have student note what they SEE, what they think  the KNOW, and the QUESTIONS they still have about the second photo in Prezi on Spicy nodes to create a collaborative digital  mind map )

4) Select another student recorder. Have the groups present to the larger class and share their data with each other. Using one of the student nodes as a base for the classroom discussion, add to the data so that one classroom collaborative node is created. 

5) Then have the students specifically look at the node with the questions in section 3. Have students change any cloosed questions (Those with a yes or no answer) to open questions for future research discussion and record the edits in Spicynodes.

6) Finally, Open up the third photo and move to the next steps.

4 Independent Practice

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To move information from short term to long term memory it is critical that student apply what they have learned. By moving through the next steps they will create and individual Corkulous board to share their insight/analysis of the third image. 

1) Have students repeat the process using the tool Corkulous. Students can select three different sticky note colors to arrange what they SEE, THINK THEY KNOW, and what questions they still have. 

2) Share the  Corkulous board in the discussion thread established in the next step: Edmodo.

5 Wrap-Up

Finally, using Edmodo, have students:

1) Post and share the information from their large group work for the day.

2) Have students post their group Spicynodes work on the assignment thread.

3) Using the turn-it in feature under assignments, have students submit their corkulous boards for assessment and review. 

4) Read and evaluate the questions from the primary source analysis for the day ( Column 3) 

5) Using the poll feature, place 10 questions from the student discussions and collaborations into a poll and have the sudents vote on which essiential questions they would like to research further. 

Next Steps: Collaboratively discuss questions with students and decide which question should be used for further research.