Library of Congress, Prints & Photograph Division, FSA-OWI
Collection, [reproduction number LC-USF 324-T01-008140-A
DLC (b & w film dup. neg.)]
This lesson is intended to prepare students for a broad history unit on the Great Depression and will work best as an introduction to primary sources following the reading of a text set during the Great Depression, such as Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust. Students will reflect on what it was like to live during the time of the Depression through analysis and interpretation of Great Depression era photographs.
1.C.3c.Compare, contrast and evaluate ideas and information from various sources and genres.
1.C.3d. Summarize and make generalizations from content and relate them to the purpose of the material.
GOAL 16: Understand events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, and other nations.
16.A. Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation.
16.A.b. Make inferences about historical events and eras using historical maps and other sources.
Procedures Back to Navigation Bar
Using Analyzing Photographs and Prints as a guide, the teacher will share a photograph taken during the Great Depression era and model how to do an observation of a photograph by leading a class think-aloud.
Questions may include:
When and where might this photograph have been taken?
What does this photograph show?
Who was affected by the Great Depression?
What do we know about the cause of the Great Depression?
Compare this photograph to other historical photos: How is it similar? How is it different?
What story does this photograph convey?
What questions does this photograph evoke?
The teacher will distribute a copy of the Primary Source Analysis Tool to each student.
Working in pairs with a new photograph, students will analyze the photograph together, recording observations on the Primary Source Analysis Tool.
After 5 minutes, students will discuss their observations with another pair. Following the brief share time, the teacher will lead a discussion with the entire class.
The teacher will debrief the analysis of photographs with the entire class, focusing on student observations and leading to a culminating discussion of the benefits of examining photographs as a source of information.
The teacher will assign students to select and reflect on a photograph by writing a response in their journals using their choice of genre (editorial, letter, dialogue, news article, pamphlet, poem, travelogue, diary entry....)
Evaluation Back to Navigation Bar
Evaluation will be based on:
Teacher observation during the activity
Use of the Primary Sources Analysis Tool
Rubric for journal writing
During the unit to follow, students should apply their skills in photographic analysis to other textual and visual artifacts.
Extension Back to Navigation Bar
Students will research primary sources connected to the Great Depression era to create their own RAFT writing.
RAFT writing template and handouts: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/raft/
Primary Resources from the Library of Congress
Back to Navigation Bar
Sharecropper Bud Fields and his family at home. Hale County, Alabama.
On highway no. 1 of the "OK" state near Webbers Falls, Muskogee County, Oklahoma. Seven children and eldest son's family. Father was a blacksmith in Paris, Arkansas. Son was a tenant farmer. "We're bound for Kingfisher (Oklahoma wheat) and Lubbock (Texas cotton). We're not trying to but we'll be in California yet. We're not going back to Arkansas; believe I can better myself".
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection,
Reproduction number, LC-USF34-T01-018191-E DLC (b&w film dup. neg.)