Visual Archeology

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SWBAT imagine two different ways of life by participating in a Visual Thinking Strategies lesson.

Big Idea

"Whats going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that?"


25 minutes

"Students, today as a class we are going to analyze two pictures using VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies).

The purpose of today's activity is for you to step back in time to imagine what it might have been like to be a member in a native tribe in the 1700's in American. You will also imagine what it was like to be a colonist, living in a new land. The pictures offer clues about these two very different cultures that were colliding during this historical period.

As a reminder here is how we participate in a VTS lesson:  I will give everyone a few minutes to look at the picture and then I will ask, "What's going on in this picture?"  After you say what you think is going on I will repeat what you have said so that everyone can hear your thinking.  Then, I will ask you a second question.  I will ask you, "What do you see that makes you say that?" 

The third question I will ask is, "What more can we find?"

Does everyone understand?  You can build on to what someone has said by agreeing or disagreeing or you can bring up something else that you see going on in the picture.

OK, let's start.  Here is the first image I want you to study:

Show the first slide.


Use the VTS discussion protocol to allow students to make meaning of the image.

Next, show the second slide.

Let students make sense of this image by discussing what they think is going on in the painting and stating what they see that makes them say that .


Group work

25 minutes

Divide the class into three groups:  One group will be independent reading in their book related to early American History.  A small group will meet with me for a strategy lesson related to their independent reading book, and the third group will read and capture notes about a topic of their choosing from the Plimoth Plantation Website and complete a handout to explain what they learned while reading.

Students who are reading in their books are also capture information about what they are reading to share with others a few times a week.


Strategy Lesson

15 minutes

Gather students who are reading the book "Felicity Saves the Day" and have them bring up their reading response notebooks.  Let students share what they have written in their notebooks.

Let students talk about what is happening in the book.  Check for comprehension by have each student select a page to read orally and then retell what is going on.  I will also use this time to ask a relevant inference questions to check for reading between the lines and monitor students close reading.  Additionally, to monitor comprehension I will assign a worksheet for students to complete as they are reading.  

Do question 1 together.

On page 8 it says, “Summer was a generous season.”  What does the author mean by this?   The author described summertime on the plantation as a generous season because..

Ask a student to read the question.  Then have another student volunteer to demonstrate how they would answer the question by rereading text and using quotes from the text in their answer.  Check to see that all students understand how to do this by asking each student what they will write to answer question 1.  Let students raise hand to share then send them ack to their seat to continue working independently.  

This is a good way to scaffold the activity.  Students who are confident with the task will volunteer to go first. This allows other students to hear their classmates explain their thinking and will support them with using quotes from the text in their answer.