Creating part of a lesson using images.

I am thinking about how to use images or films in history. I thought I could use the top image from this [featured article]( on donors to Normandale. The female in the picture was a long-time mathematics professor at my school and has contributed significant money to Normandale. The professor pictured has three degrees, including a MA and PhD in physics.

First, I’d like to consider students what we actually know about the figures in the picture. Then, we can ask what students think they know (if this pattern looks familiar it’s because I’m stealing it from Mills Kelly, the instructor of the course for which I’m writing this post). Next, I’d like the students to look at the most popular picture of the the founding of the school that shows middle-aged white men in suits using trowels to finish putting in a cornerstone. Both pictures show individuals who made significant contributions to Normandale. I will ask my students to consider how we might use these pictures to interrogate our understanding of the past? For example, the men in suits are using trowels, tools which are typically used by tradespeople. In the picture of the professor and her husband, they are formally arranged and looking away from the camera. Can we find other photos of the era to compare this photo with?

I suspect my students will struggle, as I do, to draw conclusions based just on the pictures, so my challenge is to provide them sufficient background information to guide their inquiries while allowing them to draw their own conclusions.

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