Learning Exercise

Searching the Thinker Imagebase: Images for Teaching

This assignment is designed to give students the opportunity to use an online imagebase and learn how to use specific features in the imagebase which may be useful in presenting an elementary lesson. Search activities that relate to elementary classrooms, zoom capabilities, copyright issues and references are included.
Course: EDTE 225G: Curr. Theory & Practice--Arts; EDCI 313: Art for the Classroom Teacher

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) is the City's largest public arts institution. Comprised of the M.H. de... see more


Searching Imagebases: Images for Teaching

Searching Imagebases: Images for Teaching

Featuring the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Thinker Imagebase

Cris Guenter, Ed.D.

Department of Education

CSU, Chico

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. It is the largest public arts institution in the City of San Francisco and one of the largest art museums in the United States.

Because the arts collections belong to the public and because they are able to show less than 5% of the collections in the galleries at any given time, they developed an online searchable imagebase. This imagebase is a fully keyword searchable database; it contains 75,000 images from the collections of both museums.

We could easily spend hours at this site looking at images, exhibitions, reading about upcoming events and more. You are encourage to return to this site and review the numerous links when you have time. Before we focus our assignment on actually using the imagebase to help in lesson development, we will take a few minutes to address copyright issues for educational multimedia.

Part 1

Get into your designated groups and station areas for group work.
Copyright Issues and Citations Guidelines
. This site has some specific information about how educational multimedia should be used. Once at this site, click on
Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
. Take a few minutes in your group to scroll down and see what the headings are. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Student Use, Educator Use and Permitted Uses under 1.3 through 3.4

  • Illustrations and Photographs under 4.2.4

  • Important Reminders under 6., including 6.1 which covers cautions about
    downloading material from the Internet

  • Share your thoughts and concerns with the whole class after you have looked at the key issues noted above. Become aware of copyright issues and how they affect you and the teaching profession.

    Part 2

    2. Now it is time to visit The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Once the site comes up on the screen, notice the links for de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. Both have exhibitions to see. At the bottom of the page you will find the Thinker searchable imagebase with over 75,000 images.

    Your group is going to conduct three different searches and write three different scenarios.

    Your group will search the Thinker Imagebase by

  • Artist

  • Item or Object

  • Country

  • For each search your group will make a decision on the findings and select one image for developing a written scenario of how it could be used in an elementary classroom, especially one that includes second language learners.

    Each scenario should:

  • be 1-2 paragraphs in length

  • address the focus of lesson

  • target grade level

  • make connections to lesson content

  • explain why the image is being used

  • explain how it is helping your elementary students to learn

  • include all group members' names

  • When using the Thinker Imagebase, type inyour search word and click on the word "go" on the lower right. When the images for your search come up, click on a specific image. Read the information that comes up with the larger size of your selected image. It may help you decide if it would work in a lesson or not.

    Under the display options you can select the monitor size to "zoom" the image. Once that image comes up in a new window, you can click on the arrows at the bottom or to the right of the image to view a specific section. If you click right on the image it will zoom in on that area. All of the zoom features and how they work can be found by clicking on the question mark in lower right of the "zoomed" image window.

    To use The Advanced Imagebase Search, click on that option on the lower left of the Imagebase search. Follow the directions that come up on the screen. This advanced search may help you find images that you are specifically seeking much faster than you would otherwise. Let all members in your group try this out.

    Part 3

    As your group finds and selects the three images you will use, begin work on your three written scenarios. You are a group. Figure out the best approach to accomplishing this task.

    Once the scenarios are written, proofread them. Revise and refine as needed. Then as a group, select one scenario that you will present to the rest of the class for 5-7 minutes. You will include the actual image, using the computer or projector, so that all can see. Be sure to address all the key points noted above for the scenarios. Also consider the SDAIE techniques that we have covered in previous classes and courses. Your instructor will let you know when your group will present.


    Basic Internet search skills; familiarity with searching on the Internet; awareness of basic lesson planning for elementary students


    Searching image databases; copyright concerns; visual images in lesson presentations

    Type of Task

    Learning Objectives

    1. Students will discuss and take note of copyright issues that effect the use of online images.
    2. In groups, students will conduct three searches (by artist, by item, by country) using the Thinker Imagebase from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
    3. For each search, students will make a decision on the findings and select one image for developing a written scenario of how it could be used in an elementary classroom, especially one that includes second language learners.
    4. Students will demonstrate how to use the advance search features and zooming ability of the Thinker Imagebase. These skills may be used in the written scenarios, but a rationale needs to be included.
    5. In groups, students will select one of their three written scenarios and related online image to present to the entire class.