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Zoom-In Visual Inquiry Activity

Photograph shows four men, probably veterans, sitting on a bench with tents in the background, probably at the Bonus Expeditionary Forces assemblage in Washington, D.C. One of the men is wearing a traditional Indian headdress, and pants and a vest with Indian motifs.
"Indian Bonus Veteran," circa 1930. Library of Congress

Wendy Harris, a teacher at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota and coach for Emerging America, ably describes how to apply the the Zoom-In Inquiry strategy  developed by Metropolitan State University as part of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Partnership Program in a post on the Library's Teachers page.

"Divide the image into four vertical segments (one for each person seated in the image). First cover up the left 3/4 of the image, showing only the person on the right. Ask students to analyze this part of the image, using the Observe, Reflect, Question framework as a guide. Gradually reveal one vertical segment at a time, expanding the part visible from right to left, and ask students to revise their reflections and questions based on this new information.

"Deepen discussion by asking:

  • How can clothing choices enhance a person’s message?
  • What causes would inspire you to participate in a protest?
  • Who might the intended audience for this photo be?
  • Why might Horydczak [the photographer] have decided to document this scene?"


For more about this photograph of World War I veterans, taken by Theodor Horydczak, himself a WWI veteran, and for additional teaching ideas, read the full post, "Photography as a Window into Historic Protests", October 15, 2020 by Wendy Harris. 


Grade Level: 
Teaching Strategies