By: Morgan Pauley
The students in Mr. Foster’s World History classes took a break from tough learning to learn in a new and exciting way.
This week Mr. Foster introduced photographed images as the people of the late 1800s and early 1900s would have viewed them. They started off by looking at old photos from World War II. In the photos, some people were making decoy heads to attract enemy snipers while others were handling messenger pigeons. One was a picture of a mother and father with three children. Mr. Foster didn’t explain the meaning of the picture.
They learned how many of these images were photographed in “stereo” or as we would say today, in 3D. They used some antique-style stereo viewers as well as some modern 3D glasses on Mr. Foster’s web page and a number of other websites. Then they looked at a number of Then & Now photos Mr. Foster had created with former students when they visited historical locations such as Gettysburg. Even Jedediah the Gnome got involved in it.
The last thing they looked at was the old picture of the unidentified family Mr. Foster showed them at the start of class. Mr. Foster said, “This picture was very important to me because it was one of only two photos I have of my grandfather.” In the photo were his grandparents, his dad, and aunt and uncle. His grandfather died before Mr. Foster was born but he did have several of his grandfather’s personal artifacts from World War I. Students got to look at his helmet, medals, and his original gas mask. According to Mr. Foster, this was the most important thing to remember about primary sources. We need to remember that we’re not just looking at objects or lifeless photos, we’re looking at people, real people with parents and children and families.