Our social studies’ standards call for students to work with primary documents and historical photography are a primary document. We have begun to write poetry based on our subject and selected photographs and the results are fantastic. We research the historical period then each student selects a photo and writes a poem to accompany it. The poems must include observations of the photo, historical accuracy, and a fictional back story for the photo.
Seattle had a World Fair before the 1962 version. The 1906 Alaska Yukon Pacific (AYP) Exposition brought people to Seattle which was perceived as a frontier town.
The Great Depression was captured by Dorthea Lange’s amazing photographs. Interestingly, Lange also came to the Yakima area and photographed workers in 1939. We use her Yakima photos to personalize our learning about Washington State history.
Likewise there are numerous Washington state photos available from WWII including topics on the Boeing plant and the start of Japanese internment at Camp Harmony at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.
Willowy brown hair frames a vacant stare
Clutching bare metal in the barbed fence.
Mother’s eyes shaded against the intense
Glare of the severe sun bearing down
Life shouldn’t be this hard when you’re fourteen
You should be catching crayfish by the creek
And memorizing verses for Sunday school
Helping mom bake apple pie and cherry cobbler
Cutting wind is like that barbed wire fence
Eats into the soul as well as the skin
Farm life is rugged but you work with the soil
Though at times it feels like the dirt fights back
Hope for the following day until hope isn’t enough
Try to hold your head high, comb out the tangled hair
Wear a clean flannel dress even though family
Is all that will see. We will survive this unless…