Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Using Pictures to Ignite Learning and Discussions

Using Pictures to Ignite Learning
Donna Criswell · Aug 2nd, 2011
posted by Christine Cote…

I attended a training session on the use of PQARs and am excited to try this practice in a classroom.
What is a PQAR? PQAR stands for Picture Question Answer Response. Imagine showing an image
to your class of Neil Armstrong and asking them what they can tell you about the photo. After some
discussion you show them a picture of Elvis Presley and again ask them what they can tell you about
it. You may now show them a photo of Albert Einstein and again have a discussion about the photo.
What do these people/events have in common? Did you put together a connection? PQARs can spark
connections for students as well as help teachers gain an assessment of prior knowledge. The example I just presented could be used as an introduction to a unit on Pioneers. Each photo represented a pioneer in their own field. Pictures can promote critical thinking skills as well as logic and reasoning. It has also opened the door for peer collaboration and communication.

The images available through Discovery Education can be a great addition for lesson starters. Or
perhaps you want to tie in a video to your curriculum. Another resource for PQAR resources is the
American Memory website at the Library of Congress. It is a dynamic approach and can engage the
students. Why not give it a try?

Posted by Christine Cote