October 17, 2010

discovering history through photos

Welcome to the October Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Studies of Society and the Environment" which covers all the humanities, from history to finance, geography, politics and of course the environment. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on SOSE.


This is a photo from when your dad and I first met.  We met in Norway.  It was September 2001 …

Photos can be a great prompt for storytelling.  I often use them to tell stories from our family history.  Photos can also be a great way to motivate children to find out about history.  Just like illustrations in a book, pictures provide an easy way for people to connect to events.

To start your storytelling using photos try and consider
  • what kind of photograph is it?  colour or black and white? are the people in the photograph posing?
  • where was the photo taken? if you aren’t sure, are there any buildings or other features you could use to help you identify where the photo was taken?
  • when was the photo taken? are there any features, for example people’s style of dress or hairstyles that could help you find out this information?
  • who is in the photo? are they men or women?  what is their ethnic background?
  • what is happening in the photo?
  • why was the photo taken?
  • who took the photo?
  • what is different/similar to your life today?
  • older children might also like to consider the truthfulness of the photo, could it have been altered?  This article, Memory Can be Manipulated by Photos, might make for interesting discussion.
From the answers to these questions you will often have other questions that need answering to help fill out the story.  For example, in my photo above you might follow up what I’ve said with – why were you in Norway?  or what did you do in Norway?

There are many places online where you can find collections of historical pictures.  For example,
Do you use photos when talking about your family history with your children?


Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Teach/Learn

Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Studies of Society and the Environment."

  • The Planning Queen has pulled together some of the many great sources that you can use to keep kids up to date with world news.
  • SMMART Ideas is writing about how your 2 year old isn't too young to learn the names and locations of the state she lives in and those around her...or even countries of the world!
  • For Adventures with Kids, photos can provide a great starting point for telling or discovering history, from family history to world history. Find out some questions to ask about the photos to get you started and where you can find historical images.
  • Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has been having lots of fun learning all about volcanoes and how they work.
  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey knows that kids are fascinated with igloos - how they are built and why they don't melt. We investigate why!
  • Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a fun treat to celebrate the end of a geography unit on land and water forms.
  • At Homeage, almost every day they get another piece of the world delivered to their door, helping them learn about where and how other people live.
  • Deb's girls at Science@home have been building their family tree and talking about all their relationships.

Thanks for visiting our carnival, have fun reading all the posts.


amandab said...

I love that you started this with your own personal history. I know Princess loves to look at pictures of us when we were little and to see what things we did and liked when we were younger, and how it relates to her and what she likes and does now. It's a great way to introduce the idea of times passed to children :)

PlanningQueen said...

My kids too love looking at photos of family and friends. It has been ages since I have taken them through our old albums. Will add that to mu list of things to do with them, thanks for the prompts.

Deb Chitwood said...

My favorite way to share family history is through photos. Photos bring back memories so vividly – and are so much fun to look at together! Great ideas for questions to ask! Thanks for sharing the article on manipulating memories through altered photos. Now that's scary!

Deb said...

We had a wonderful time on the weekend going through the photos on the computer.
And the big girl is in love with Google images. When she hears about something interesting she'll ask to look for photos on the computer, we can spend hours hopping around the web and talking about the pictures.

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

What a clever post. My boys LOVE looking at our photo albums too and hearing the stories behind them. I have kept photo albums since I was a very young girl and they are very precious to me now!

Narelle said...

Some great ideas there and some I'll definitely be using when I look at old photos with the kids. I always make up my own stories with photos of things we do/places we go as a family but hadn't thought of pulling out old photos to look at with the kids. I'm hoping that our books will be something we can pull out in future and look back on and talk about though :)