Dear Fellows,
So glad to see this dialogue.  I always glean great ideas from you all.  One simple and fun idea I use in my classes year after year is when I teach students how to do photo analysis:  I use the photo analysis form and like to start at the beginning of the year with some photographs of school scenes from America from the Great Depression to WWII (conduct a search on "school" under black and white photographs - it turns up some great depression era school scenes).  Or this can be done with any interesting photos from the collection. After students have completed the photo analysis form (which can be found on the Learning Page by clicking on lesson plans and media analysis tools) on the picture, have them write a short story about what they think is going on in the picture.  My middle school children love to tie together their observation, knowledge, and interpretation in a creative way.  It only takes one period for students to complete the photo analysis and the writing assignment can be written from the photo analysis as homework. It also gives me a great early sample of my history students' writing. 
Laura Wakefield
1997 American Memory Fellow

Laura Wakefield, NBCT
History Teacher
Neptune Middle School
2727 Neptune Road
Kissimmee, Florida 34744
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