Visual Discovery

Students will examine an image through visual discovery. Students will read a primary source document and evaluate the document using a SOAPSTone graphic organizer. Students will craft a description of American military training during World War I for a national textbook.

Guiding Questions

  • What was the experience of the typical soldier in training during World War I?
  • What areas of training did commanding officers in the AEF emphasize in the training of soldiers?

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  • Analyze an image using visual discovery.
  • Evaluate a primary source document developed for officers using a SOAPSTone graphic organizer.
  • Write a detailed description of soldier.


  • Display the image prominently in your room for all students to see.
  • Inform students that they will be using Visual Discovery to uncover new information.
  • Guide students through a series of questions:

LEVEL 1 – Gathering Evidence

  • What do you see in this image?
  • What key details, or pieces of evidence, do you see?
  • How would you describe the scene and the people?
  • What would you hear or smell if you were part of this scene?

LEVEL 2 – Interpreting Evidence

  • What do you think is the approximate date of this scene? Give one piece of evidence to support your answer.
  • Where might this scene have taken place? Give two pieces of evidence to support your answer
  • What do you think is happening in this scene? Be prepared to support your opinion with two pieces of evidence.

LEVEL 3 – Making Hypotheses from Evidence

  • How do you think these people were feeling at this time and place?
  • Why do you think these people are going through these activities?
  • Direct students to read the bayonet training document.
  • Direct students to evaluate the bayonet training document using the SOAPSTone graphic organizer.
  • Direct students to craft a detailed description of American military training in World War I.
  • After students analyze the primary sources, debrief the class.


In the debriefing discussion, the following question could be used to gauge student understanding of the artifacts:
What was the typical experience for the American soldier in World War I?

Assess students based on their SOAPSTone graphic organizer and descriptions of military training.


Additional images from the chapter could be incorporated into the visual discovery activity to increase the depth of knowledge regarding soldier training.

Materials Needed

Visual Discovery Image
Bayonet Training Document
SOAPSTone Graphic Organizer