Uncover Historical Perspective with Adobe Acrobat Reader

Students analyze images to interpret perspective and uncover theories about the past
2:04

About This Strategy

This 60-minute  strategy helps students answer the big question: how does a historian’s perspective shape their interpretation of historical events? Students will develop an understanding of how historians construct interpretations of the past using multiple perspectives by applying strategies for image analysis in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Because Adobe Acrobat Reader enables students to view, create, and manipulate PDF documents, this strategy empowers students to enhance their historical thinking skills as they uncover meaning through source analysis of historical documents in a deep and meaningful way.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student Sample
  • Adobe Acrobat

  • Editable Resource Bundle

  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers

60 minutes

Learn.

Students watch and discuss the Khan Academy video: Thinking Like A Historian (8:47). (20 minutes)

Create.

Students annotate a selected historical image, or one of their choice,  using these steps to guide them, including an example that could be replaced with material of teacher choice. Students can examine a student sample here. (30 minutes)

Evaluate.

Students deepen their historical thinking skills as they consider how historians analyze documents to construct theories and interpret events from the past. (10 minutes)

Potential Extension: If you are interested in taking a deeper dive into image analysis in your class, check out this lesson from Adobe Exchange to extend your unit of study.

Share.

Students share and publish their annotations in Adobe Acrobat Reader as directed by their teacher.

Steps for Students

In this 60-minutes strategy, you will practice thinking like a historian, as you analyze images to interpret perspective and uncover theories about the past.

Because Adobe Acrobat Reader is a user-friendly tool that allows you to  view, create, and manipulate PDF documents, this strategy supports you to interact with an image or document as you annotate and analyze it in a deep and meaningful way.

Steps:

1. Watch this video as an introduction to thinking like a historian. As you watch the video clip, answer the following questions of a separate sheet of paper: (20 minutes)

  • How are individuals responsible for historical events? 

  • How do historians use research to construct theories and to interpret events from the past?

2. Analyze two or more images to uncover perspective using the SPAM image analysis organizer  by annotating images from history, such as paintings, photos, political cartoons, etc. using Adobe Acrobat Reader and complete the graphic organizer attached in the link above. (30 minutes)

Check out this student sample for inspiration. Examine the rubric to understand the expectations for your work.  If you would like a  quick tutorial on how to use Adobe Acrobat Reader, go here.

3. Pair-Share: Reflect on your learning by answering the following questions and sharing them with a partner. (10 minutes)

  • Compare and contrast the images you analyzed during this lesson. How were you able to determine perspective and find meaning for each image? 

  • What is your theory about what actually happened during this event? Why?

  • How might the strategies you explored in this lesson help you to think like a historian?

4. Share your image analysis and annotations in Adobe Acrobat Reader as directed by your teacher.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' analysis.