In this variation of History in a Bag using American art, students work in groups to analyze famous images/pieces of art from through US History. They summarize the images by coming up with a historical narrative about the US based on the images (2-5 sentences). Then they come up with 2 themes. Each individual then chooses any image they want and try to figure out why it was painted (historical context, purpose) and why it is still considered a significant/iconic piece of art. This then leads into a discussion of the historical thinking skills and how students used them in the activity. I included slides for this discussion as well. The handout for students is included as a free resource! It's great to use as a first week/intro to history activity.