Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Search by Image: The most iconic photographs of all time and what they can teach us

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Let's find out together.

To add the free 'search by image' extension to your Chrome browser, click on this link. You will now be able to click on Google Images and a small icon of a camera will appear in your search bar. You will then be able to click on the camera and upload any image or paste in it's URL to search for similar or identical images on the Internet. This is an invaluable tool for discovering the truth behind the images you see. You will be able to discover who took a photograph, the circumstances under which the picture was taken, who the people in the image were and what happened after the picture was taken.

I have selected below some of the most iconic historic photographs of all time. I want you to look at them first without knowing the story behind them or who the photographers were. Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Let's find out.

Before we look at the first image, as
a class, let's come up with a list of human emotions, both positive and negative. Try to come up with colorful words beyond the obvious 'happy' and 'sad'.

Once we have generated our lists, lets look at the first few images below together as a class. 
What do you think is happening in the picture? 
When and where do you think it was taken? How does the picture make you feel?
Are you familiar with the image?
 What do you know about it? 
What can you tell about the people in the picture? 
The expressions on their faces? 
Their body language? 
The state of their health?
 What emotions do you think they are feeling? 
What about the image makes the picture compelling? 
What colors does it have?
 What sort of lighting? 
Does the picture show movement or action of any kind? What is the focal point of the picture? 
Most importantly, how does the picture make you feel? 

Now that we have discussed it, take the image and use Chrome's 'search by image' tool to find out who took the picture, the real story behind it and it's historical significance.
Please share what you have discovered with the class.

You will then break into small groups. Each group will be assigned a few images and you will repeat this process. Please resist searching for the images before you have looked at and discussed them. See what the picture is capable of telling you without words first. 

Create a  shared Google Doc with your group and paste the image into it. Write down your first impressions of the picture, answering the questions above. You should take turns typing but be sure to discuss your answers as a group before writing them down. Write about how the picture makes you feel and why it makes you feel that way. 
After you have searched the image, please write down what you have discovered about the picture. Be sure to include the name of the photographer, the year it was taken and the circumstances that surrounded it. What happened after the photograph was taken? Does the picture have any historical significance? What story does it tell? Discuss each picture with your group before proceeding to the next image.
Turn your work in, with all of your names on it, via Google Classroom when you are done. Be prepared to choose together the most compelling image assigned to your group and elect a spokesperson to present it to the class.


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