How can we analyze the purpose and meaning behind images? How can we apply verification skills to image analysis? Much of the mis- and disinformation online spreads through memes, manipulated photos, and other visual forms. All images, however, can be rich texts for analysis.
What does the image show? How does it make you feel?
Where did the image come from? What is the source’s reputation?
Is there any text with the image? Does it influence the meaning?
How might different audiences receive this differently?
‘My students’ attention is much more captured by the picture than by the words. And so it’s really about getting them to think critically about why they are looking at this particular picture. Why has a newspaper decided to choose one photo over another? What is the message? How can that message be manipulated based on what’s being presented within the photo? You can use the Questioning Images framework with kids as young as kindergarten. It’s nice to be able to start talking to kids about that kind of critical literacy at such a young age. So by the time they get to be adults, it’s habit for them.’
— Kim Davidson, Military Trail Public School, Scarborough, Ont.
The Questioning Images lesson and resource has been developed in collaboration with Professor Farida Vis and her colleagues at the Visual Social Media Lab and Education and Social Research Institute, based at The Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. It has been adapted from the Visual Social Media Lab and First Draft’s ‘20 Questions: Interrogating the Social Media Image’ framework and worksheet.