Zoom-In Inquiry Activities

Zoom-In Inquiry is often an introduction portion of a lesson. During this activity, students uncover a primary source image piece by piece in order to understand a big idea or theme related to curriculum standards. An investigative question starts the exploration and guiding questions focused on observation, interpretation, and evaluation follow as pieces of the image are revealed one at a time. Students use evidence and subject specific vocabulary to support their hypotheses. Students reflect on their understanding of the primary source and its relationship to "the big picture" or a large scale understanding that is overarching and essential to the subject. Finally, other related primary sources are presented that ask students to apply knowledge and understanding from the Zoom-In Inquiry to a new source or problem.

Understanding Goal Understanding Goal

Digital primary sources provide unique opportunities for students to ask questions and make discoveries.

Best Instructional Practices

Directions for creating a Zoom-In

  1. Use the Directions to crop an image in PowerPoint.
  2. Use Creating Questions to create inquiry questions to guide students toward the "big picture". View an example set of questions used in the Nature Zoom-In.

Links to Lesson Plans


Zoom-In: William Johnson
Zoom-In: Mary Cassatt
Zoom-In - Composer: Aaron Copland
Zoom-In: Abstract Art
Zoom-In: Facial Expressions and the Statue of Liberty
Zoom-In: Virginia Reel
Zoom-In: The Bombing of Ft. McHenry Inspires Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner"


Zoom-In: Attitudes Come From Home

Foreign Languages

Zoom-In: La bandera de las estrellas
Zoom-In: Habitat

Language Arts

Zoom-In: Grapes of Wrath
Zoom-In: Letter
Zoom-In: American Revolution, Who, what, when, where, why in pictures!
Zoom-In: Essay Writing
Zoom-In: Reflections on Hispanic-American Poetry and Art
Zoom-In: Weather and Weather Activities Museum
Zoom-In: Settings Using Prediction
Zoom-In: Using Descriptive Writing
Zoom-In: Using Primary Sources to Build Background Knowledge for Historical Fiction Text
Zoom-In: Nursery Rhymes Past and Present
Zoom-In: Flood
Zoom-In: Poetry with Little Miss Muffet
Zoom-In: Child Labor
Zoom-In: Details Make the Whole Picture
Zoom-In: Relationships in Nature
Zoom-In: Speaking with Purpose
Zoom-In: Zoo Experiences
Zoom-In: Purpose of a Letter
Zoom-In: The Civil Rights Movement
Little Miss Muffet: Looking for Rhymes
Zoom-In: The Crucible
Zoom-In: Martin Luther King Jr.
Zoom-In: Journal
Zoom In: Using Advertisements to Persuade
Zoom In: Desegregation - Living Together
Zoom-In: Making Predictions
Zoom In: Reading about the Holocaust: What's the Journey?


Zoom-In: Geometry
Zoom-In: Patterns and Geometry
Zoom-In: Geometry Architecture
Zoom-In: Early 20th Century Original Student Math Problem
Zoom-In, Investigations: Document: Jefferson's use of Logarithms and Geometric Sequence
Zoom-In: Patterns Are Everywhere
Zoom-In: Exploring Geometry, Symmetry and Congruency in the World Around Us (SMART Board)
Zoom-In: What Do We Measure?
Zoom-In: Geometry in our World


Zoom-In: Prohibition
Zoom-In Playground

Professional Studies

Zoom-In: Inventions
Zoom-In: Fire


Zoom-In: Erosion
Zoom-In: Muir Glacier
Zoom-In: Living Things
Zoom-In: Nature
Learn research methods to prepare for science projects, Zoom-In Introduction
Zoom-In: Habitats
Zoom-In: Identifying Habitats and their Characteristics
Zoom-In: Erosion
Zoom-In: Composite Volcanoes
Zoom-In: Map of Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Zoom-In: Earthquake Destruction
Zoom In: Simple Machines
Zoom-In: Resources
Zoom-In: Hurricane Disaster Discovery
"Chemistry in the Cartoons": Science Conceptions and Misconceptions in the Public
Zoom-In: Muscle Power Advertisement
Zoom-In: Submersible Designs
Professor Peanut: George Washington Carver
Zoom-In: Earthquake Writing Activity
Zoom-In: Introduction to Volcanoes
Zoom-In: Erosion and Land Use
Zoom-In: Energy Introduction
Zoom-In: Atom Structure

Social Studies

Zoom-In: Ancient Egypt
Zoom-In: Westward Expansion
Zoom-In: Monitor and Merrimac
Zoom-In: Civil War Leadership-The Union
Be a Historical Detective! Investigating and Interpreting an Historical Source
Zoom-In: Japanese Internment During World War II
Zoom-In: Map Reflecting Exploration and Settlement of North America
Zoom-In: Our Nation's Geography: U.S. Land and Regions
Zoom In: Sioux
Zoom-In: Explorer
Zoom-In: Ancient Egypt Architecture
Zoom-In: Committee of Congress - Drafting the Declaration of Independence
Zoom-In: Powhatan - Eastern Woodland Tribe
Zoom-In: Slavery in America
Zoom-In: Westward Expansion, Sectionalism in the United States, Transcontinental Railroad
Zoom-In: Bombardment of Fort Sumter
Zoom-In: Exploration and Trade
Zoom In: Civil War - What War Is This? (write in answer boxes)
What War Is This? (Revolutionary War)
Zoom-In: The Battle of Bull Run
Zoom-In: Then and Now the Shape of Virginia
Zoom In: World War I Soldiers at the front
Zoom-In: Native American Food
Zoom-In: Women's Suffrage
Zoom-In: Pueblos of the Southwest
Zoom-In: Surrender at Yorktown
Zoom-In: Constitutional Convention
Zoom-In: Boston Massacre
Zoom-In: Hopi Pueblos
Zoom-In: Hopi Women Collecting Water in the Desert
Zoom-In: Transportation
Zoom-In: Betsy Ross
Zoom-In: Ben Franklin's View of the Colonies/Political Cartoons
Zoom-In: American Symbol: The American Flag
Zoom-In: Parthenon in Athens
Zoom-In: Colosseum in Rome
Zoom-In and Investigate: the role of maps in the Colonization of North America
Zoom-In: Boxer Rebellion in China
Zoom-In: Trench Warfare in World War I
Zoom-In: Manifest Destiny
Zoom-In: The Washington Monument
Zoom-In: Hopi Indians
Zoom-In: Introduction to the Armenian Genocide
Zoom-In: The Civil War's impact on Americans
Zoom-In: Technology and Society the Golden Gate Bridge
Zoom-In: Depression Era
Zoom-In: Rosa Parks
Zoom-In: Segregation
Zoom-In: Richmond Bridge
Zoom-In: Emancipation Day, Virginia Civil War
Zoom-In: Segregation Protest
Zoom-In: Different Experiences of the Civil War (Women & Slaves)
Zoom-In: City of Alexandria, Virginia
Zoom-In: Civics and Making a Difference
Westward Expansion
Zoom-In: North American Geographic Regions - Rocky Mountains
Zoom-In: U.S. Patriotic Symbols
Zoom-In: Famous Americans
Zoom-In: School Segregation
Zoom-In: Primary Sources
Zoom-In: Inflation and the Rise of Adolf Hitler
Zoom-In: Economics
Zoom In: American Flag
Zoom-In: General Store
Zoom-In: Explorers
Zoom-In: Abraham Lincoln cartoon
Zoom-In: Prohibition in America
Zoom-In: Constitutional Convention
Zoom-In: George Washington
Zoom-In: Famous Women in US History - Pocahontas, Betsy Ross, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, and Rosa Parks
Zoom-In: The Wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe
Zoom-In: Christopher Columbus
Zoom-In: Problems with Urbanization, Child Labor
Zoom-In: Ancient Greece
American Biography: Zoom-In: Antebellum
American Biography: Zoom-In: Revolutionary
American Biography: Zoom-In: Colonial Time Period
American Biography: Zoom-In: Reconstruction and Industrialization
Zoom-In: Woolworth Skyscraper New York City 1912
Colonial Life
Betsy Ross and the Evolution of the American Flag
Zoom-In: Examining a Photograph from the Civil War
Zoom-In: Post-War