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Learning Snapshots - Globalize Your Classroom

Learning Snapshots are designed to pique your students' curiosity about the world. These snapshots combine pictures, captions, question prompts, and informational links to help your students think globally. We want students to develop in four areas of Global Competency: Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, and Take Action.


Learning Snapshots inspire students to investigate the world and recognize how perspectives differ based on local cultures. These snapshots are selected to intrigue your students and invite them to learn more about their role in and connection to our larger humanity. When thinking about other cultures, we want students to think along the lines of, "I wonder why that is?" There are many ways to do things, and different cultures often do things differently. Instead of describing a difference as "weird" or "wrong" teach students to approach differences with curiosity. This will help students develop empathy and a deeper understanding of other cultures.

Use the website subpages under Global Snapshots in the menu above for global inspiration in the areas of architecturedesignenvironment, food, nature, outdoor art, traditional arts and crafts, and transportation and signs

Taj Mahal

Each Learning Snapshop follows the same structure:


Photograph Name



Researchable question

Essential question

Learn more with related content: link to a website

Taj Mahal
Agra, India

The Taj Mahal at sunrise in July. The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Researchable question: Why was the Taj Mahal built?


Essential question: Why are some sites considered to have "outstanding universal value"?

Learn more with related content: Taj Mahal UNESCO World Heritage List

Teaching with Photographs in the Global Classroom

When teaching with photographs, try the structure in "Analyzing Photographs and Prints" as outlined by the Library of Congress in the PDF Teacher's Guide: Analyzing Photographs and Prints. The student-facing document, Primary Source Analysis Tool, guides students through the process of observing, reflecting, and questioning.

First, have students observe the photograph. Allow time for students to notice and name details in the photograph. Next, have students reflect by generating and testing a hypothesis. Finally, have students ask questions that would generate more observations and reflections. 


Using the Primary Source Analysis Tool, you can walk through a few Learning Snapshot examples together as a class and model your thinking aloud as you observe, reflect, and ask questions about a photograph. Then, have students explore further based on their areas of interest. They can choose one of the photograph categories (architecture, design, environment, food, nature, outdoor art, traditional arts and crafts, or transportation and signs), and analyze a photograph independently or with a partner using the Primary Source Analysis Tool. Based on what they observe, reflect on, and question, they will have identified questions for further research. This leads them into the first area of Global Competency: Investigate the World.


TIP: Below, each category is hyperlinked to a Google Slide Deck with the photographs that are featured on the subpages under Global Snapshots in the menu above. These slide decks allow you and your students to focus exclusively on one photo at a time. More photographs will be added as travel allows.

Connection to ELA Learning Standards

Professional Resources to Support Visual Literacy and Analysis 

Global education is a vital piece in preparing students to be members of our larger humanity. To support your work as a global educator, this website provides a collection of resources for the four global competencies as identified by the Asia Society. Use the links under the page Global Competencies above or the list here: Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, and Take Action

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