Photographic Forensics Lesson Plan

Photograph Forensics: Looking Closer at Primary Sources
Lesson Plan (Grades 7-9)

Overview:

Photographs are exciting primary sources to analyse. They can capture a specific time, story perspective, landscape and event. When you investigate further, it is interesting to discover what photographs can communicate about: typical modes of transportation, important businesses, popular fashion, gender roles, recreation, communication, as well as social norms and values. In this exercise, we invite you to look critically at images from the early twentieth century, ask lots of questions and delve deeper into the art of photographic forensics!

Curriculum Links:

History and Geography: Geography: Grade 7 – Patterns in Human Geography
-> Identify and explain the factors affecting population distribution
-> Explain how site and situation influence settlement patterns
-> Summarize the factors that affect patterns of urbanization, industrialization, and transportation
-> Locate relevant information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
-> Create and use a variety of maps for specific purposes

History and Geography: Geography: Grade 8 – Patterns in Human Geography

-> Identify and explain the factors affecting population distribution
-> Locate relevant information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
-> Create and use a variety of maps for specific purposes

 

Canadian and World Studies: Geography of Canada: Grade 9 (Academic) – Methods of Geographic

Inquiry and Communication

-> Use different types of maps to interpret geographic relationships, including changes over time in
a specific location
-> Distinguish among opinion, argument, and fact in research sources
-> Analyse a regional or national geographic issue on the basis of information gathered through
research

 

Canadian and World Studies: Geography of Canada: Grade 9 (Applied) – Methods of Geographic Inquiry
and Communication
-> Distinguish among opinion, argument, and fact in research sources
-> Use different types of maps to interpret geographic information
-> Provide appropriate and sufficient geographic evidence and well-reasoned arguments to
support opinions and conclusions

Important Terminology:

->  Primary Sources: original, first-hand accounts created at the time, or shortly after, something
happening
-> Secondary Sources: second-hand, published accounts created after primary sources
-> Artefact: an object remaining from a particular period that was created by humans and usually
has a practical purpose

Key Questions:
-> What is the difference between a primary and a secondary resource?
-> What information can primary sources reveal about the past?
-> Are photographs reliable sources? Why or why not?
-> How do transportation routes and recreation affect population distribution?

Lesson:

Review the difference between primary and secondary sources. Show the students the image of Britannia-on-the-Bay. Follow the steps as outlined below to challenge the students to think critically about the information that can be conveyed in a photograph.