Observation is a key life skill. Having observed, it's often useful to interpret. Practise both skills with an intriguing compilation of images chosen from past newsthink resources.
Use it as a fun, revealing and stimulating way to test what students can spot and what they make of it.
Download the quiz sheet and answer sheet.
By the end of the activity students will be able to:
- identify, compare and interpret a variety of data observed in multiple images in a fast-moving video compilation.
- demonstrate empathy and understanding of situations facing a range of people pictured in news photographs.
Can you spot...?
Prepare students for some intense focusing. Explain that they are going to see a short video – approximately a minute and half long – with a lot of different images. Their task is to identify some specific details, and prove it by answering questions on a quiz sheet.
Organise students into teams. Groups of five or six would work well – or pairs for those who like a challenge. Explain that the short video will be played on a continuous loop:
- until one team thinks they've answered all the questions
- for a set number of times, such as five loops.
Distribute the quiz sheets and give students a few minutes to:
- Read the questions
- Devise how they are going to work together to answer the questions as quickly as possible. This is about observation and also team work.
Start the video loop. It is important not to show it just once. So either play it from this webpage, or, if you have downloaded it, choose the loop option in your playback software.
Once the time is up or a team has declared they've answered all, swap papers and mark them using the answer sheet. Then move on to the bonus round below, if time permits.
As an alternative to issuing the quiz sheets, ask the questions orally from the front. Or select a few questions and show them, say three at a time. Either way could suit shorter tutor time and be played over a number of sessions.
Can you spot:
- three sporting activities?
- four people being taken for emergency medical help?
What are the four different ways they are being transported?
- people covering their eyes or ears?
- a wet woman looking at the photographer?
What is the man squatting on?
- a house with people coming in and people going out?
How many of each?
- a storm shelter?
Who is in it?
- someone acting as a human shield?
What is he wearing?
- someone fainting?
- a man wearing a flat cap and using a stick?
What seasonal substance is he looking at?
- a lot of lost property
Can you guess what kind of room it is in?
- two pictures showing people waiting in a queue?
Which two liquids are they queuing for?
- the picture that has most people sitting or lying the floor?
Describe the scene.
- a boat beached on a house and a boat housed on a beach?
Which picture has more people in it?
- rifle-style guns?
- a sofa on a table?
What is the man wearing on his left arm?
- a woman wearing gloves?
What colour blanket has she put round the man?
- Athletics/triple jump, football and cricket. (Allow baseball or rounders – the stunning visual effect of the moving ball is impressive design but not, admittedly, very like a cricket ball.)
- Wheelbarrow, helicopter, friend's shoulder, stretcher
- Four. Two boys in Afghanistan are hiding their faces from the camera. Two children, carried by their father, are blocking their ears from the sound of gunfire in Libya. If anyone included the athlete with a visual impairment, be generous and offer bonus points.
- A car
- Four police are going in. A family of five are leaving. Another police officer seems to be making notes.
- A seven-year-old girl
- A red hooded top, dark jeans (probably) and trainers
- A soldier on parade. (Sorry, no points for the football one. That was Fabrice Muamba who collapsed from a cardiac arrest.)
- A school hall or gym. Accept a warehouse.
- Drinking water and fuel or petrol
- A classroom with children under the desks
- The boat on the beach
- Five. One on the helicopter, three in the picture of an injured man carried over the shoulder, one being aimed at a man on a road.
- A watch.
By the end of the activity students will be able to work as part of a team to identify, compare and interpret a variety of data observed in multiple images in a fast-moving video compilation.
After the quiz, marking and discussion, play a bonus round with some exploration of personal responses.
Offer additional points for answers to the following. Score highly for demonstrations of empathy, thoughtfulness, imagination and insight – or just because you're a generous quiz marker.
- Think about the images, and find someone you admire. Say why.
- Think about the images and find somewhere you wouldn't like to be. Explain why.
- Find someone pictured that you think you could help. How would you help? What would make your help more effective?
- Pick someone you'd like to ask a question to. What question?
- Pick someone you'd like to send a message to. What message?
By the end of the activity students will be able to demonstrate empathy and understanding of situations facing a range of people pictured in news photographs.
Move on from the quiz format for some in-depth work, inside and outside the classroom.
- Invite students to make their own montage of photos and devise questions for them.
- Is there a picture students have seen and discussed before? If so, working in pairs, interview each other about it. Can you remember how you felt when you first saw it? Do you feel the same now? How might the lives of those pictured have changed since the photo was taken?
- What happened next? Use one of the images as a stimulus for a short piece of creative writing.
- Ask students to select from the list below, by discussion and argument, a picture they would like to know more about. Then follow up with some of the suggested activities in the resources.
By the end of the activity students will be able to appreciate what is happening to people in a news photograph and assess and describe what they think could have happened subsequently.