Activity: Thought Bubbles

This activity supports Disciplinary Literacy in Social Studies — Thinking Like a Historian — Through Their Eyes and Common Core in English Language Arts — CCR Anchor Standards for Writing – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3. Adapted from History Tech.

Grade level: Elementary.

Duration: One class period.


1)   Use Recollection Wisconsin to find one or more historic photographs depicting groups of people. To locate photographs that will inspire creative contributions from your students, try our thematic boards on Pinterest:

2)   Use photo editing software to add thought or dialogue bubbles to the image(s).

3)   Distribute copies of the image with the added thought bubbles and have students fill them in. Ask students to imagine a conversation among the subjects of the photograph, compare and contrast what the subjects would have said in the past with what they would say today, or compare what the subjects are saying with what they are thinking.

Life on a Wisconsin Farm on Pinterest

Wisconsin School Days on Pinterest

Wisconsin in Action on Pinterest

Wisconsin Performances on Pinterest