This activity is suitable for students of all age groups, you can download a free, printable PDF version here.

Choose an image from our collection to project onto the whiteboard for when students come into the classroom. Students practice using their developing enquiry skills to deduce as much as they can about the image, just from looking carefully and asking themselves and each other questions about it (such as those in our Using objects, artworks and other sources to find out about the past guide.

When the students are settled, ask them to volunteer what they think is happening in a painting, for example, or what an object is. They must back up their answers with evidence from the source – and other related previous learning about the historical context of the image.

Repeat this over a series of days or lessons to get students used to the activity and give them the opportunity to practice their enquiry skills. Introduce an element of competition if it helps!