How do historians use photos and paintings as historical evidence?
This resource is designed to provide teachers with knowledge and understanding of how to use photos and paintings as historical evidence.
The resource contains useful information about using photos and paintings as historical evidence, as well as questions and activities to help pupils to analyse these types of sources.
Teachers and pupils will learn about different types of historical evidence. They will be introduced to the importance of analysing historical evidence and will gain ideas about how they might do this, including the use of inference grids.
Teachers and pupils will go on to explore the concept of usefulness and reliability in the context of historical evidence. They will consider how useful and reliable paintings and photos are as sources for use by the historian.
Finally, teachers and pupils will explore two worked examples. These will show how to analyse a photo and a painting as historical evidence, using inference grids, and then how to assess their usefulness and reliability.
Learning aims and outcomes
- To improve knowledge and understanding of different types of historical evidence.
- To develop skills in analysing historical evidence.
- To consider the usefulness and reliability of different types of historical evidence.
- To recognise that all historical evidence can be useful, even if it is not always entirely reliable.
- No prior knowledge is required
Extended learning and useful links
- Teaching Activity: Can photographs tell us more about past coronations than paintings?
- Decoding Art - interactive activities exploring paintings from the past