Real World Learning Objects: Language Arts Print...
 
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The Grapes of Wrath - Using Historic Photos as Literary Symbols
INSTRUCTIONS
When reading John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, viewing real historic photos from the same time period and setting as the novel helps bring the characters and scenes alive. For this RWLO, you will view and analyze selected historic photos taken during the Great Depression from the Library of Congress’ American Memory collection, identify what moment or scene in the novel it could be a picture of, and create a report album documenting a part of the book.
  1. Families Camped Alongside a Road
    Look at the Farm Service Administration photograph below of the families camped alongside a road from the American Memory collection. This photo was taken during the Great Depression during the same time period and setting of The Grapes of Wrath. Respond to the following questions:
families camped alongside a road
  1. Describe what's occurring in the photograph. For example, who and what's in this photo?, where and when do you think it was taken?, etc.




     
  2. What story does this picture tell? For example, why do you think the family is camped alongside the road? where might they be heading?, etc.




     
  3. If you were to select a moment or scene from The Grapes of Wrath, which one does the photo remind you of? Describe the moment/scene and identify the page numbers.





     
  1. Abandoned Farm
    Just as before, look at the Farm Service Administration photograph below of the abandoned farm and respond to the following questions:

abandoned farm

  1. Describe what's occurring in the photograph. For example, what's in this photo?, where and when do you think it was taken?, etc. NOTE: pay special attention to the 'scenery'.




     
  2. What story does this picture tell? For example, why do you think the farm was abandoned? what do you think happened to the family?, etc.




     
  3. If you were to select a moment or scene from The Grapes of Wrath, which one does the photo remind you of? Describe the moment/scene and identify the page numbers.





     
  1. Create a Grapes of Wrath Report Album
    Now that you've had some experience looking at historic photographs, you're going to create a report album documenting a scene from The Grapes of Wrath with photos reminiscent of the time period. Follow the directions below:
    1. Select a particular scene from The Grapes of Wrath and search for five (5) additional photographs that could graphically illustrate it from the America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945 collection (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsowhome.html).
      • Select Black & White Photos or Color Photos -> Search. Use key words such as "refugees", "migrant children", "farmer", etc.
    2. Look at the following pages from a report album created by photographer Dorothea Lange and economist Paul Taylor:
To harvest the crops "Yes sir, born and raised in the state of Texas"
To harvest the crops (USZ62-69109) "Yes sir, born and raised in the state of Texas" (USZ62-69106)
  1. Create a six-page report album in the same style as Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor using each of the photos and corresponding passages or quotes from the book. The title/first page of the report should identify the scene and each of following five pages (one for each photograph) should contain the text passages and corresponding page number(s) and appropriate citation in MLA or other appropriate format (see Supplementary Resources for information about citing Internet resources).
    • Possible formats for the report album include Word, PowerPoint, Flash, web page, scrapbook, etc.

(Photos & documents have been digitally archived by the Library of Congress' American Memory project)

 

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