Investigating images

This pathway brings together activities and resources for primary students who are using images to explore Victorian history.

By studying one source closely, students can:

  • learn what life was like during a particular period
  • experience personal stories from the past
  • explore a particular issue, event or person in detail
  • illustrate how authors and artists construct their work.

You might like to choose a number of activities to work through, or set up activites in a rotation.

Learning intention

  • Pose a range of questions about the past 
  • Locate relevant information from a range of sources 
  • Identify the origin and purpose of primary and secondary sources 
  • Identify and describe points of view, attitudes and values in primary and secondary sources 
  • Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources 


An image relevant to the topic being studied (see More to explore at the bottom of the page for a variety of great digital image resources)

Image study - primary - student template [Word 33.5 KB]

Evaluating sources - student template [Word 8.52 KB]

For more information, see the Select resources section of this site.


Analysing images - What's outside the frame?

Analysing images - Y chart

Analysing images - 5W1H

Analysing images - Annotations

Generating questions - See Think Wonder

Generating questions - Lotus diagram

Comparing past and present - Toys and Play

More to explore

State Library Victoria Flickr page - great albums of out of copyright images from the SLV collections

State Library Victoria digital image pool - search function that allows students to browse thousands of copyright free images from the Library's catalogue.

Trove - Pictures, photos, objects - section of the NLA's Trove website which searches thousands of images from collections across Australia.

Google images - use Google's powerful search engines and tools to find images from different collections around the world.