America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black and White Photographs from the FSA and OWI, ca. 1935-1945
The images from FSA/OWI Photographs, 1935-1945 provide a captivating alternative to textual records of history. By engaging with these photographs as both historical records and creative, persuasive expressions, students may develop the thinking skills critical to a sophisticated understanding of history.
Have students create a timeline of major events and experiences of the Depression and New Deal. They can use these timelines to formulate search words and find photographs to illustrate their timelines. In addition to a sense of cause and effect over time, attention to details of the photographs and captions will give students a sense of the relationship between local and national events, social conditions and governmental decisions. Alternatively, students can search related topics such as the dust bowl and migrants for photographs such as this one. Focusing on dates and places, students can discern cause-and-effect relationships.