Lesson Plan

Depression-Era Photographs: Worth a Thousand Words

Woman at sewing machine, 1937.
Photo caption

Woman at sewing machine, 1937.

Throughout the Great Depression, the federal government employed photographers to document the need for New Deal programs and the extent of these programs' successes. Today, through the Internet, students can view this record of an era and see for themselves how Americans faced the challenge of those testing times.

Guiding Questions

To what extent do photographs reflect and provide insight into an era?

What was life like during the Great Depression?

Learning Objectives

Evaluate New Deal programs and the experiences of Depression-era Americans.

Distinguish between observation and inference when drawing information from documentary photographs.

Analyze photographs to distinguish between fact and myth regarding life during the Great Depression.