Documentaries from History

Activity Steps:

Imagine and recreate a period in history, using photographs as your source material.

1. Look:
Find eight to ten photographs from a specific time period. You can use Dorothea Lange's pictures from Voices and Images of California Art, or you can gather images from another source.
2. Think:
As you select your photographs, imagine what life was like around that time period. What do we learn about history through these photographs? What was going on in the world that is not shown in the pictures? How are the people in your photographs different from others living at the same time? Can you see why the photographers chose to show one set of people over another?
3. Create:
Write a story, play, or poem about your chosen time period. Those in the class who decide to write plays may want to form their own group and assign parts.
4. Present:
Share your story, play, or poem with the class.
5. Extension:
Create an illustrated timeline using the collected images. Look at Dorothea Lange's Statement in support of project to establish camps for migrants in California (1935) for an example of a timeline.