This module is for Grades: 6-8 Welcome

Have you ever heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”? This phrase expresses the power of visual images. The authors of your social studies textbook understand how important images are for your understanding of a topic. This is why your textbook includes photographs, paintings, artwork, charts and graphs. The image may reinforce information already in the text or it may provide additional information and understanding when you integrate the information from both the text and the image. Some textbooks will also provide video clips that accompany the text. These video clips are also a form of visual information. As a proficient reader, you are expected to gather information from both visual and text sources. As a writer, you are expected to be able to select appropriate images to support the main points of your topic or argument. In either case, it requires the ability to analyze visual sources of information and integrate the information with text. In this module, you will integrate visual information with text-based information to learn about the role of manifest destiny in the history of the United States.

Module Objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Analyze and integrate visual information with other text-based information.
a painting depicting people on horses, carts, and foot migrating

Photographs, paintings, artwork, charts and graphs are used in textbooks to reinforce information already in the text or to provide additional information and understanding of the topic. American westward expansion is idealized in the above famous painting, Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (1861) by Emanuel Leutze.
Image credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Sara Carr Upton via Wikimedia CommonsOpens a new window

Focus Standard

RH.6-8.7 – Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


  • Identify and gather several specific types of primary sources – both textual (e.g., diaries, letters, newspaper articles, census records, websites) and visual (e.g., paintings, photographs, maps, graphs, etc.) to be used in addressing a social studies problem or question.
  • Analyze the kinds of information each type of source offers, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source.
  • Corroborate information from various sources.
  • Draw conclusions, citing evidence from both text and visual sources.