Documentaries from History

The Big Idea:

How do artists construct stories using visual means?

Activity overview

Dorothea Lange documented the social and economic forces that affected the lives of ordinary people; her photographs elicit sympathy and offer insight into the Great Depression and subsequent decades. In this activity you will look at photographs from a specific time period and construct a story to explain the visual evidence you see.

Look closely

Click on each artist button at right to view detailed screens about the artist and his or her works. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and use the zoom tool to look closely at the works of art.

In this activity you will:

  1. examine photographs from a specific time period
  2. select and analyze eight to ten photographs
  3. write a story, play, or poem about the images
  4. present your work to the class

You will be graded on:

  1. effort in finding and analyzing pictures
  2. creativity and composition of story, play, or poem
  3. class presentation

New terms:

documentary