Oil Region National Heritage Area | The Valley that Changed the World

Info for Educators

Abraham Gesner and the Discovery of

Lesson focuses on analyzing and evaluating visual images as part of historical research and critically reading historical text. Students will become familiar with the use visual clues as part of historical inquiry, coordinating with text and other artifacts to provide a more complete picture of a topic. In addition, students will understand how text evidence can be used to help explain the purpose and results of innovation leading to the discovery of kerosene.

Lesson Synopsis

Teaching students to analyze visual images and historical text encourages them to think and work as historians by drawing meaning from the image and/or text and connecting their analysis to a larger historical landscape. By engaging in critical analysis of an image or text, students develop and enhance observational, interpretative, and critical thinking skills, which can then be combined with additional resources to provide a more complex understanding of historic

Teaching students to read critically requires that students become investigators of history. By understanding that time, place, audience, and purpose matter, and by asking questions of the image or text, students are given the opportunity to learn how to identify ambiguity and weigh evidence to make reasonable judgements regarding the validity of an author’s claim.

Grade Level

Grades 7 – 12


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