This activity is an excellent resource for the beginning of the school year. I use this activity during the first week of school as a way to let students examine pictures of United States History and pick what they deem to be the most significant. I also help them see how our own experiences and thoughts can shape was we deem to be significant. It works great as a back to school activity and I help them see from the start that we all have different views or opinions on history based on our experiences. I use this as a way early on to help them see that their opinions and experiences matter. I have included 50 pictures from U.S. History and you are always welcome to remove pictures or add pictures to the activity.
I partner students together and they go through the pictures to narrow it down to their top 10 pictures. It also requires students to imagine what life would be like if he/she was alive during one of the pictures, to add a picture to the mix by emailing it in to you, and to see if there is a theme among the pictures they pick. We tend to have great class discussions about this activity afterwards.
I added March for Our Lives and the Me Too Time Person of the Year Cover from this past year. I also added The Pulse Nightclub Shooting (2016) because I had multiple students use that as their additional picture this past year. I usually number my pictures, put them in protective sleeves, and put them in folders to make it easy to reuse each year. I did not number them in case you wanted to remove or add photos to this assignment.
It typically takes my students 45-60 minutes to complete and then we discuss the assignment. I also compile their additional photos into a PPT slide and we look through their additions. All together I send about 75-90 minutes on this activity.
This lesson could also be a great resource in a journalism class. I did not include an answer key since responses will vary.
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