Every Image Tells a Story

Presented by: Susannah Tamarkin

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):


Students will access images from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery in order to explore the use of music in the ancient African kingdom of Egypt. Guiding questions include, “Every image tells a story...what stories do the images you see tell?” and “How do people and cultural activities connect to define a region?” The focus of this lesson is a case study of Egypt. Students collaborate in small groups to answer the guided questions, and at the end of the lesson they assess the process of group learning.



Class is separated into small groups according to classroom teacher’s suggestion.


Day 1

Direct Instruction:

The teacher librarian will discuss the procedures and time frame of the lesson and explain that the goal of the activity is to collaborate as a team to explore the use of music in the ancient African kingdom of Egypt in an effort to understand how people and their cultural activities connect to define a region.  Guiding questions should be posted for students to see or provided as a handout.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

TL will model how to access the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery by going to http://digitalgallery.nypl.org, going to Browse>Subjects A-Z>Explore Subjects – Exact match:> "music -- egypt -- to 499" (without quotation marks).  Images can be expanded by selecting the image and using “Details” to expand image.  Students will be asked to retrieve 27 images.


Sharing and Reflecting:

TL will facilitate a class discussion with the use of guided questions:


TL will use a chart divided into observations and interpretations to record guided questioning responses during the discussion.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

TL will instruct students to expand the image in the Details and Subject heading and lead students in discussion about the following questions:



Sharing and Reflecting:

Using the chart, students will form conclusions based on the available evidence found in the image and its metadata details and discuss.


Day 2

Direct Instruction:

TL will allow five to ten minutes for set-up and review of procedures, including the use of each group's work assessment sheet.  TL will engage the class in a whole class discussion based on the question, “What can we conclude about music in Egypt based on the available evidence in the images we've explored?”


Independent Practice:

Students should begin working on their group assessment sheets.  Group Assessment Worksheets will be handed out and reviewed.  Each student will be required to complete an assessment as homework and return it to the TL.

Supporting Files: