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Student Learning Objectives
Content Material
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Supplementary Resources
Recommendations for Integration

Stevens Institute of Technology

The Grapes of Wrath - Using Historic Photos as Literary Symbols


Time: Approximately 45 minutes.

Materials: Computers with Internet access, Student Directions, and referenced photos and documents from the Content Material section.

Implementation: This RWLO can be implemented during class time if each student has access to a computer and the Internet for searching the American Memory collection. Otherwise, it should be provided as an out-of-class assignment however you may find it useful to review the search features from the America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945 collection (see step 3 below).

  1. Provide access to the Student Directions and/or print and distribute the Student Worksheet (gow.doc - 456 KB) located in the Content Material section of this RWLO.
  2. Review the instructions with the class as needed. Students should view the families camped alongside a road and the abandoned farm photographs and respond to the corresponding questions as described in Parts A and B.
  3. Once completed, demonstrate the various features of the America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945 collection on a large screen, especially how to search using keywords. Sample key words include "refugees", "migrant children", "farmer", and other vocabulary relevant to The Grapes of Wrath.
  4. Review the report album instructions as described in Part C with the students:
    1. Students should select a scene from the novel and five (5) photographs from the collections to graphically illustrate it.
    2. Students should then assemble their album in the same format as the provided examples (To harvest the crops and "Yes sir, born and raised in the state of Texas") and include a title/first page identifying their selected scene.
    3. Mention that each page in their album should contain the text passages, corresponding page number(s), and appropriate citation in MLA or other appropriate format.
      (see Supplementary Resources for information about citing Internet resources)
    4. 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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