Great Depression Photo Analysis Assignment

Product Description

17 page/slide Great Depression resource is a photo analysis that uses a "centers" activity format with five different photos/centers. This excellent resource includes five different and powerful photos related to life during the Great Depression that can be used in the five different centers for use in the classroom. As well, the resource includes the five photos in a PowerPoint for the teacher to use in order to facilitate the activity and for class discussions.

The students rotate through each of the five centers in order to view a different image related to the Great Depression and use an included photo analysis chart in order to record their observations and interpretations of each image. The included photo analysis chart requires students to interpret each photo and then to offer an overall interpretation. This is a great activity for building and improving student photo analysis skills and collaboration skills as they rotate and work with other students.

The resource includes a concluding writing assignment wherein students must pick one of the five photos and argue in favor of it as an influential photo to show life during the Great Depression. The writing assignment includes detailed instructions and a marking rubric for ease of assessment.

The resource also includes a detailed teachers guide that explains how to facilitate the centers activity and offers descriptions of how to differentiate the activity based on the needs of the teacher/classroom. The detailed teachers guide also includes a teacher key for each of the included Great Depression images that the teacher can use to facilitate the centers activity and class discussion.

This is a great activity to introduce the Great Depression to your students or to build up your students photo analysis skills. This will make a great addition to your unit of study!

Answer Key

Included with rubric

Teaching Duration

2 hours

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1. Select one or more of the Lange photographs to show the students and discuss in class.

2. Ask students questions to help them look carefully at the photograph on three levels. You may choose to print these questions out on a worksheet so the students can answer the questions on their own before opening up a class discussion.

Level I: (just state the facts)

a. Describe the colors, lines, shapes, texture, and space you see in the image.
b. What do you notice first in this picture? Where is your eye led?
c. How many faces do you see?
d. What are the people wearing? How are they posed?
e. Where are their hands resting?
f. Are you looking up or down at the people in the image?
g. When was this picture made?

Level II: (begin to analyze and interpret)

In your opinion,
a. What are the people in the photograph looking at?
b. What are the expressions on their faces?
c. What are they thinking?
d. At what time of day might the photograph have been taken?
e. Where was the photograph taken?
f. What do you think they are doing?

Level III: (connect the image to historical context)

Based on what you know about the 1930s,
a. Who are the people in the photograph?
b. What message do you think the photographer was trying to convey?
c. What is the situation of the people depicted? Point out some visual elements in the photograph that tell you about their situation.
d. If possible, how would you help the people in this photograph?
e. Might a photograph of this nature be made today? Why or why not?
f. What alternative title would you give this photograph?

3. Students share their answers and the alternative titles they give to the photograph with the class.

4. Hand out summary descriptions of the photograph(s) and read aloud. Discuss the role of photography and photographers in the United States of the 1930s.

• Why did Lange take these photographs?
• Why were artists given jobs by the government as part of the New Deal?
• These images, and many like them, were published in the 1930s in newspapers and magazines. What kind of effect do you think they had on the public?

5. Distribute and explain instructions for the "One-Pager" (see attached). You may want to prepare a One-Pager of your own as a model. Students will use this creative exercise to express their interpretation of the effects that the events of the 1930s had on society.

6. Students choose one of the images by Dorothea Lange and begin composing a One-Pager in class, completing it for homework. You can determine how much time the students need to create a quality product based on ability and age level.

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