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Dorothea Lange and Documentary Modes of Expression

Crecia C. Swaim

Contents of Curriculum Unit 06.03.10:

To Guide Entry


This is an 8th grade social studies unit that develops and expands language arts skills assessed on the Connecticut Mastery Test. This will be done in the context of the life and work of photographer Dorothea Lange. After introducing Dorothea Lange as a person, focusing on her childhood and early career as a point of reference with which students may identify, we will use her photography as a springboard for content, reflection, and analysis. Students will use these resources to practice the CMT skills of forming a general understanding, developing interpretation, making reader/text connections, and examining content and structure. They will answer open-ended questions created to exercise those skills; in an effort to expand their ability to apply those skills in a variety of contexts, open-ended journal questions about information shared in the classroom will also be asked in a CMT-style format.

We will explore the craft of documentary photography, including the questions that cropping and posing raise in the debate over whether or not a photograph reflects a truthful reality, as well as the idea of social responsibility and the power of documentary photography to effect social change.

I want students to understand the importance of documenting life as it happens, of creating a record that represents multiple voices. The next part of the unit will set the students to the task of exploring their own voices as they relate to the world around them. I will ask students to answer questions in a response journal that probe what matters to them, what they think is important and noteworthy in the world today, and what they would like to report on, or document -- for both present and future audiences. The unit will culminate with students choosing their preferred artistic mode of expression (video, writing, photography, music, dance, art) to create an original documentary work. Students will summarize and explain the meaning of their piece, and will write a persuasive letter to someone they think needs persuading on the issue.

This unit is meant to augment standard required social studies curriculum addressing the Great Depression and World War II.

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Opportunities for Student Identification

I think students will be able to identify with Lange the person; she conquered feelings of insecurity stemming from feeling abandoned by her father (who left the family when she was young), and from living with polio. Unfortunately, most young people can relate to the idea of being an outsider, of being made fun of for something, or of feeling alone, and of being angry because of that. Many of the students in my arts magnet school in particular should be able to relate to using artistic expression as a way to channel that energy; for those that are slow to explore that outlet, I hope that this unit may inspire them in that endeavor.

Dorothea Lange - Childhood

Dorothea Lange (pronounced dore-THEE-ah lang) was born on May 26, 1895.1 She caught polio at the age of 7, one year after the birth of her baby brother Martin. At the age of 12, Dorothea's father Henry left the family, and so they (Dorothea, mother Joan, and brother) moved in with her grandmother Sophie and her great-aunt Caroline. She was born Dorothea Nutzhorn, but changed her name to her mother's maiden name of Lange when she moved out on her own. She was ashamed of being left by her father, and lived her adult life as if she had never been a Nutzhorn.

Before the polio vaccine was made widely available in 1955, many children died or became partially paralyzed from catching polio. Lange's right leg and foot were badly damaged from the disease, and she walked with a limp for the rest of her life. Kids made fun of the way she walked, calling her "Limpy." Her mother was also obviously uncomfortable with her daughter's physical condition; when they would walk together down the street and someone they knew approached, Joan would whisper to Dorothea, "Now walk as well as you can!"3 For a child who was already putting all her effort into walking as well as she could, that left her with the feeling that nothing she could do would ever be good enough. Of her polio, Lange has said: "I think it perhaps was the most important thing that happened to me. It formed me, guided me, instructed me, helped me, and humiliated me. All those things at once. I've never gotten over it, and I am aware of the force and the power of it."4 As an adult, she would wear long, flowing skirts in an attempt to hide her limp, yet she clearly did not let it interfere with achieving success and going after what she wanted.

Dorothea lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, but commuted by ferry into New York City every day with her mother, who would go to work at the New York Public Library while Dorothea went to school. She felt like an outsider there; not only did she not live in the city, but also, most students there were Jewish and she was not. Two nights a week, Dorothea's mother worked late, and so Dorothea had to walk to the ferry back home alone, through a rough-and-tumble part of the city called the Bowery, also referred to as "thieves highway." Since she knew she couldn't run away very sprightly if things turned badly, she learned to develop a kind of blank facial expression meant to avert attention; she felt it helped her to blend into the background. She called it her "cloak of invisibility," and she consciously used it in her work as a photographer, to capture street photographs without drawing attention to them. Dorothea says, "If I don't want anybody to see me, I can make the kind of face so nobody will look at me."5

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

Students can be asked to compare and contrast their family and early childhood with Dorothea's. This can be done through a free-write assignment, a class discussion, or a Think-Pair-Share activity, depending on the comfort zone of each individual class. Students can create an individual Comparison Matrix to graphically represent those findings.6 Discussion can be led about disability, finding out what types of disabilities students are familiar with, and whether or not they or someone they know has a particular disability (to address reliability of knowledge, examining if understanding is based on experience, fact, hearsay, television portrayal, etc). Students can be engaged in considering personal strengths and weaknesses and how they might apply those strengths as Lange did; also, how they might improve on their weaknesses or use them as strengths (as Lange turned her insecurity into a drive to do well). As the teacher I would model this first with a personal example, then I would lead a class brainstorm; for homework students would prepare their own personal written responses to those questions. I think it would be fun to have students think about what their own "cloak of invisibility" would look like, and to demonstrate for the class, giving a brief explanation of what about that makes the person seem invisible, and why it might be useful. Perhaps the concept of a "defense mechanism" can be introduced, and students can be asked why the "cloak" might be considered one.

Comprehension Question Samples

See Appendix I for a guide to facilitate the task of creating CMT-style reading comprehension questions and using scoring rubrics. Below, the CMT strand being practiced is indicated in parentheses after the question. The following are only starters, so get creative!

· List 3 important facts about Dorothea Lange's childhood. (A1)
· Write one fact and one opinion about Dorothea Lange's childhood. (B2)
· If Dorothea Lange were alive today, what would you most like to ask her? Explain your answer, using details from this unit. (C1)
· What was Dorothea Lange trying to explain when she used the phrase "cloak of invisibility?" How would you explain it? (A5)
· What important facts have you learned about Dorothea Lange's childhood during this unit? Use details from class discussions and previous writing assignments to explain why those facts are important. (A3)

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Dorothea Lange - Early Career

Dorothea did not do well in high school; as a matter of fact, she just barely graduated. In thinking about what she would do next, she knew she wanted to be a photographer. She had never taken a picture, but she had had years of looking at life with a photographer's eye, and she knew she had both the passion and the potential to pursue this career. Her mother wanted her to be a teacher, as she thought it was the best way to ensure a living if her daughter ever needed to make one on her own. This was in 1914, and only one out of every four women worked outside of the home then. By way of comparison, a little over twice as many women work outside of the home now.7 Aside from becoming a servant, teaching was the next most common job available. Dorothea did enroll in teaching school, but she committed to learning photography in her free time. She worked for different photography studios, and came by most of her photographic education on the job that way. She switched to pursuing photography full time after her first day of student teaching. She could not control her class of fifth-graders, and they all climbed out the window to get to the playground. That day she convinced her mother that she was not cut out for teaching, quit school, and bought her first camera. She started her career as a portrait photographer, using people she knew as subjects. With the help of a traveling photographer whom she befriended, she turned an unused chicken coop in her back yard into a darkroom. She let him use it, and he taught her how to use it.

In 1918, Dorothea and the only real friend she made in high school set out together to travel around the world; they ended up in San Francisco, where she immediately got a job in a photo-developing center similar to those located in CVS or Walgreens (except back then things weren't automated as they often are today.). There was a large, supportive community of artists in San Francisco, called bohemians; she joined a camera club there and was quickly welcomed into that community. Within six months she was able to open her own portrait studio, quickly becoming a favorite of San Francisco's wealthiest. Every day Lange would host an afternoon tea at her studio where her bohemian artist friends would gather for enthusiastic discussions of art and photography, with the latest jazz record playing in the background.

In 1920, Dorothea fell in love with and married the well-known painter of western landscapes, Maynard Dixon. Their marriage would become troubled as both Lange and Dixon had artist's souls, but only Dixon could indulge his easily. He would leave for weeks or months at a time on painting expeditions, and she would be stuck at home keeping house and tending to family, trying to stick her photography in whenever she could. She would send their children to spend time with various friends and family members in an effort to get work done, but it was not easy. (They had two children together. Dan was born in 1925, and John was born in 1928. Dixon also had a daughter from a previous marriage, named Consie, born in 1910.) Then the Great Depression hit and made it more and more difficult for them to sell their work. At this time it was considerably more difficult for a female photographer to get work than it was for a male one, and she was faced with the inequality of the male and female artist every day in her marriage. In the winter of 1932-33, to save money, Lange and Dixon each went to live in their separate studios, and they sent their children to boarding school. Lange finally had some time, space, and freedom to pursue her photography. She had discovered that she was no longer satisfied photographing people who paid her to do so, and her mind for the first time turned to the idea of photography for social benefit and change.

She felt compelled to go into the streets, to photograph the devastation that the Great Depression was leaving in its wake. She saw the capacity for photography to document the human condition and to potentially inspire change. She went down the street from her studio to a soup kitchen run by a wealthy woman named Lois Jordan who, with little or no outside funding, would feed more than one million hungry men over a three year period during the Depression; she was known as the White Angel. It is at this soup kitchen that the moving photograph White Angel Bread Line was taken.

In 1934 she had a small art exhibit of her documentary photographs. At this show was Paul Taylor, a college professor also studying the social effects of the Great Depression. He was nationally known for his studies on rural poverty and migratory workers, and he thought Lange's photographs would perfectly complement his written reports on the subject. They set out together to record the effects of the Depression on the rural populations of the country, most notably, the migration of drought refuges to California. These reports would lead Taylor and Lange to become part of the Resettlement Administration, later renamed the Farm Security Administration, to help struggling rural populations throughout the United States. Her most famous photograph, Migrant Mother, would be taken while working for the FSA. The reports would later be published in a book entitled "An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion." Lange was a pioneer in the field of documentary photography, and this at a time when women did not have the same professional opportunities as they do now.

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

Students can explore the idea of practicality of career versus love of career. They can brainstorm a career they might like to have someday of which they think their parents might not approve. Then they can get into pairs, briefly share and explain their chosen careers, and partners can take turns role-playing a conversation between parent and child, as if the child had just revealed the career choice to the parent. Parent role-players would suggest a more "practical" career, and students would reflect on the experience in their journals. It would be interesting to have the partner role-play the child, so that the child role-plays his/her parent, though any combination of role-playing could take place. Lange's photographs of homeless migrant workers inspired John Ford's 1940 film version of John Steinbeck's 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath, so any exploration of those works can certainly supplement this unit. I would like students to consider the idea of knowing that they would love to do something without having had the opportunity to do it yet. I'd like to engage them in thinking about why they think they would enjoy the activity, if it would be a hobby or a possible career, where they may have heard of it, and what three steps could be taken to better inform or prepare them in this activity. I have included in Appendix II a graphic organizer for this activity.

Comprehension Question Samples

· What does the word bohemian mean to you? (A5)
· Why do you think Lois Jordan (the White Angel) chose to feed so many people? Think of someone who reminds you of Lois Jordan in some way. Explain why the two people are similar, using information from class discussion and personal experience. (B2, C1)

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Dorothea Lange -- Later Years

After World War II, Dorothea Lange developed an ulcer; her health problems kept her largely inactive from 1945-1951.8 When she began photographing again, her focus shifted from whole to parts, from the way social ills affect society as a whole, to making little windows into individual lives. She especially enjoyed photographing growing families. The Art Department of the Oakland Museum of California holds the largest collection of Lange's photographs; their website is impeccably arranged and provides a clear breakdown of the different phases of her career, which lasted until her death in 1965. Her later works will not be discussed in this unit; however, be sure to make mention of them when we look at the Civil Rights Movement to demonstrate other modes of documentation for the culminating project. (See the section on Culminating Project.)

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Dorothea Lange - Photographic Style

Dorothea Lange used her "cloak of invisibility" to photograph people on the street. By trying to look so inconsequential as to blend into the background, she could get closer to the people she was photographing for a truer, more unaffected shot. In her portrait studio, she used a different approach. Her goal was to make the subject very comfortable with her and thus the camera. She would gently ask questions and listen attentively to the responses, hoping to gain a holistic understanding of what the person was all about. Once she moved to photograph them, they were in a sort of extra-natural state, and felt that Lange's photographs would reveal their true selves.

As a documentary photographer, she photographed people in their environments, as they were, and tried to frame and capture whatever they and their environment had to offer in a way that would evoke meaning; she photographed them within the context of their lives (Elliot, page 7). She has said that part of her inspiration to become a documentary photographer came from her time working at the photo-developing center in San Francisco, looking at people's personal snapshots of landmark occasions and family events. Her photographic style and inspiration can perhaps be summed up in the following quote by Francis Bacon that was tacked to Lange's darkroom door from the time she was 28 until her death at age 70: "The contemplation of things as they are / Without error or confusion / Without substitution or imposture / Is in itself a nobler thing / Than a whole harvest of invention."9

Lange believed in the power of the photograph to influence people and to expose problems. She has said that: "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."10 It is said that her youthful affliction with polio, coupled with being deserted by her father, gave her a sense of compassion that encapsulates her subjects in a sort of sympathetic bubble that reflects but protects them, if but only for a moment. Her shots seem suspended in time, so full of emotion yet somehow disembodied. The composition of her shots and the crisp clarity of her images lend her pieces a beauty or aesthetic appeal that draws a patient viewer in; once in, the viewer will linger, absorbing the time and place and most importantly the person, captured on film. Her photographs exemplify the artistic vision often deemed necessary to instill a photograph with meaning.

Lange is so committed to capturing the person that her ultimate goal, contrary to what one might instinctually think, is to remain anonymous. The highest achievement is to take a photograph that speaks purely of the subject, and not of the person capturing the subject. For example, the image of Migrant Mother is universally known, yet a small fraction of the people who recognize it know who photographed it.11

Using her "cloak of invisibility," she usually captures moments rather undetected. She also employed her second husband Paul to engage subjects in conversation, to distract them and to relax them; with Taylor's help she was able to adapt her portrait-taking techniques to documentary field photographs that felt more natural and personal. George Elliot, in his introduction to her 1966 MOMA exhibit, says that Lange rarely arranged her shots but when she did, she was purposeful about it. In those shots she has her subjects look directly into the camera, confronting the viewer with all their humanity.12 Yet in James Curtis' book on FSA photography, her decisions concerning how the subjects of the series of photographs that would contain her best-known Migrant Mother photograph should be posed, and who should and should not be included in the picture, are clearly articulated. See the section entitled: The California Dust Bowl and Migrant Mother for more on that. The idea of whether or not posing and the like are acceptable in documentary photography will be explored in the following section.

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

Students can define compassion, so that they can decide if they think compassion is a necessary quality for a documentary photographer to have. In making that decision it may be useful to have students define the opposite of compassion. Students can discuss the idea of anonymity versus fame, and which they would seek in their potential chosen profession. It may also be worthwhile to explore the idea of why people usually relax when they are engaged in conversation, and when this strategy might be used in other situations, as well as what strategies students would use to achieve a desired shot.

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Documentary Photography

Conventions of photography that can show a heightened sense of reality can also distort it or misrepresent it. Who hasn't ever paused a film, only to capture the character on-screen in some sort of bizarre facial expression? Played through, that expression is one miniscule piece of the overall whole, not at all detectable. Yet frozen by the pause button, the entire meaning of what is happening disappears; the moment is taken out of context. In the same way, flashing a photograph, capturing a moment, can sometimes misrepresent what is actually happening. Lange has been quoted as saying: "Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."13

Cropping an image can also change a photograph's meaning entirely. Sometimes Lange zooms in on her subject at the point of photographing it, deciding right away to exclude the environment, to focus entirely on the humanity of the subject. Other times she includes more of the background rather than less, as she is interested in context. Yet even these images select what is included and excluded from the frame, either manually at the moment of the shot, or else afterwards, sometimes, by cropping. Pages 9-10 of the MOMA exhibition book examine one image presented two different ways, one cropped and one not. It is an excellent illustration of the power of cropping to mold meaning by manipulating the image. See Lesson Plan 2 -- Documentary and Fact for a lesson on the power of cropping to alter meaning, using the above-mentioned photographs.

Some documentary photographers will add objects to the scene, or take some away; others will pose the subjects of the photograph. They argue that there is "nothing wrong with moving an object or posing a subject to create a photograph that call(s) attention to a known social or economic problem (Curtis 17)." They will move things to make the picture more orderly, either for aesthetics or, most often, to convey "the order and beauty that [they] believe lay beneath the surface of (in the case of this quote, the subjects') poverty (Curtis 24)." Others argue that, because people tend to believe the camera, because they take for granted that whatever is captured on film is real, then the documentary photographer has a social and moral obligation to merely capture what is there. Yet the photographer always chooses what to capture, and how, deciding what merits being a part of the picture's frame. Even if a photographer does not crop, pose, add props, have subjects repeat actions for a better shot, or touch up the photographs, even still the photographer is by necessity choosing to present some facets of reality while leaving others out.

There is also the issue of documentary photography as photojournalism versus photography as art. Lange's contemporary Walker Evans says of photography, that "…while technical competence might produce such images, artistic insight alone could give them meaning and impact (Curtis 25)." That quality of giving meaning and impact also contributes to artistic vision.

The idea of permission is an important ethical question to consider. Should the documentary photographer be required to obtain permission to photograph someone, or is it any person's individual freedom to photograph whomever he or she so chooses? If sold or somehow or other become worth money, should the subject of a photograph be paid? Should the person be paid regardless of whether or not the photograph makes money? What does a photographer do if he or she cannot ask the subject for permission? Does the photographer owe anything to the subject? Where is the line drawn?

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

The PBS American Photography website has many opportunities for students to learn through exploration. Items can be viewed by the class together by way of an LCD projector or individually by students at the computer lab. Depending on your needs, either one class could be held at the computer lab and students could navigate the site with a scavenger hunt-type worksheet that guided them through all the areas you'd like them to view, or each day you could show one short bit in the classroom as a transition activity. In that case, I would show the introduction to the Image Lab on the first day of the unit. For reinforcement of the cropping issue, see the Image Lab section At the Edge, which engages students with the photograph studied in Lesson Plan 2 in this unit. It shows how different croppings affect the message of the photograph. Image Lab Virtual Photo Lab could be viewed when discussing Migrant Mother, as it explains the social context of that photograph. Image Lab Digital Manipulation is a quick, fun activity exploring the ability to completely alter digital photographs, by way of creating a political campaign poster with personalized audience characteristics. There are also three videotapes with plenty of short interviews and clips to be shown as seen fit, and transcripts available online. See Lesson Plan 3 -- Practicing Photojournalism for another way to use this website.

As a quick, fun demonstration of how photography captures an image out of context, you can have students actively move about the room. Let individual students have turns using a digital camera to take photographs, and have fun viewing the distorted images of action frozen in time!

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The Great Depression, the FSA, and "White Angel Bread Line"

The Great Depression was triggered by the stock market crash that began on Black Thursday (October 24, 1929) and continued through Black Tuesday, five days later.14 The Industrial Revolution led to greatly increased profits for businesses (65%); but worker wages did not increase that much (8%), so people began spending even more than they were making, using credit. From 1920 to 1929, the value of stocks quadrupled. Stocks were seen as a financial guarantee, so people began to borrow money to invest in stocks, thinking that they were securing their financial future. But stocks could not go up forever, and in 1929 they started to lose value at an extraordinary rate, so that by 1933 they were worth 20% of what they were worth at their peak. Banks were unable to collect on loans, and they had even invested depositor's money, which could not be replaced. People panicked and withdrew their money, which made things even worse. Then-President Herbert Hoover did little to intervene in this situation, and is blamed by many for the Depression, during which more than 15 million Americans (1/4 of the workforce) lost their jobs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the next presidential election by a landslide in 1932; he offered the country a "New Deal" in which the government would intervene to stabilize the economy and ensure public welfare.

The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was one of FDR's New Deal programs implemented between 1933-1937 with the goal of relief, recovery, and reform for the U.S. economy. It was created to document the struggles of the rural poor during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl (see the next section), as well as the programs that the government put into place to address their needs.15 It was created within the Department of Agriculture in 1937, but its roots were based in the Resettlement Administration (RA) of 1935, also a New Deal program.

Roy Stryker was the head of a special photographic section in the RA and FSA from 1935-1942. During its existence, the RA/FSA created 77,000 black-and-white documentary photographs and 644 color photographs. In 1942 the FSA unit moved to the Office of War Information, where it worked to document America's mobilization during the early years of World War II, and to attract U.S. citizens to jobs in support of the war effort. The entire FSA-OWI collection numbers around 108,000 (most of which are black-and-white).

In its "Depression and WWII" section, the America's Story from America's Library website has clear, concise, kid-friendly historical background refreshers for students who are struggling with this content [http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/wwii]. Also, PBS has a very informative film and accompanying website (with film transcripts) entitled The American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl.

White Angel Breadline was Lange's first documentary photograph. She took it when she was still doing portraits, and though she knew it was important, she did not know what she would do with it. Neither did her portrait patrons, who would ask her about it (she had hung it on the door of her studio she was so struck by it). She felt the need to contribute to supporting her family, so she was very aware that her photography would always need to be a source of income. At the time, she knew no market for the types of social reflection pieces she felt compelled to produce.

In the photograph, the crowd faces away, a sea of hats hinting that it could be any one of us in that line. The Depression hit so many unsuspecting people so hard; it did not discriminate. Our subject leans against the slanting railing, which creates an aesthetically striking line in the photograph. Although his eyes are covered by the brim of his hat, the set of his jaw and the posture of his body indicate anger and fortitude, as if to express that he doesn't like being in this breadline but he'll do it alright, and thank goodness that it exists. It is a striking portrait of that one man at the same time as it reflects on a broader social situation.

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

The standard version of this photograph should be compared and contrasted (using a Comparison Matrix) to the alternate view featured at the following website: http://www.mindspring.com/~davidmbernstein/Dorothea_Lange.html. This view is taken from a different angle (below), with the main subject occupying the center of the top half of the frame (as opposed to slightly left of center), and in it the subject evokes pity rather than dignity. Students could view and discuss a photo-essay on the Great Depression at the following website: http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/depression/photoessay.htm.

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The California Dust Bowl and "Migrant Mother"

The eight-year period referred to as the Dust Bowl Years began with a drought in the East in 1930, which moved towards the West in 1931.16 What has become known as the Dust Bowl is the area encompassing parts of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, totaling almost 100 million acres of land. Dry spells occur about every 25 years in that area naturally, but this dry spell was coupled with misuse of land, by overgrazing and farming techniques fit for the East that the homesteaders brought with them. By plowing this land, farmers new to the area ripped out the fine grasses that hold the fine soil in place.

People began to abandon their land, as the dust storms were just not stopping, the drought was just not ending. Some were forced to leave as the bank foreclosed on their land. In the end, one-fourth of that area's population left their homes and headed to California. The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the area; of those, 200,000 moved to California, which was not prepared to take in so many migrants (nor did it care to). The migrant worker had no home, and moved around following the hope of work, the hope of a crop to pick.

The day that Dorothea Lange photographed what would become her most famous photograph, Migrant Mother, has been retold by Lange in numerous sources.17 She was on her way home from a trip documenting the living and working conditions of the migrants to California. She followed their schedules, getting up at sunup and working until sundown, which made for long, sixteen-hour days. She was tired, and she was ready to see her family. With about seven hours of driving left ahead of her, she passed a homemade sign that said Pea Pickers' Camp. She knew that a late frost had ruined the pea crop, and was concerned about the people who might be at the camp. It nagged at her to turn around, to go back and visit the camp, another opportunity to document. About 15 minutes (20 miles) later, Lange did turn around and went back to the camp. Right away she saw the woman who would be the subject of Migrant Mother. Some sources say she took 5 shots, but she really took 6; in any case each shot focuses in on the woman a little more, and the final shot is the one that would become the "timeless and universal symbol of suffering in the face of adversity (Curtis p. 47)."

Early the morning after she got home, instead of spending time with her family Lange rushed to develop the photographs and submit them to the FSA and The San Francisco News. She thought that these photographs could help bring attention to the plight of these American migrant farmers. She was right; the story was printed in newspapers around the country, and the federal government immediately sent 20,000 pounds of food to the camps. The U.S. public couldn't believe that the people who provided them with food were starving.

The FSA photographers used "contemporary social science techniques in captioning their images. Subjects photographed, like citizens interviewed, remained anonymous. Stripped of their identities, they become the common men and women whose plight the Roosevelt administration was working to improve (Curtis p. 49)." Despite this custom of general captioning, Lange usually wrote lots of biographical information down about her subjects, taking meticulous notes for her file. This time however, she wrote very little, not even a name, and it would later be discovered that much of what she had written was inaccurate. The woman's name is Florence Owens Thompson, and she has a far different memory of the events at hand.

The Dust Bowl refugees were of European descent, and were migrating to California because they were displaced from their farmland by drought. Florence Owens Thompson, though from Oklahoma, was a full-blooded Native American, and her family had been displaced from tribal lands by the U.S. government. (By 1930, Native Americans had lost more than 80% of their lands this way).18

The day Lange photographed Thompson, she and her family were driving towards Watsonville, hoping to pick lettuce in the Pajaro Valley.19 The timing chain on their car broke just outside Nipomo, and so they pulled into the pea -pickers camp to fix it. While fixing the chain, the radiator was punctured; Thompson's two boys (and likely her male companion) brought the radiator into town to be fixed. While they were gone, Lange arrived with her camera.

Lange had said that the family members had gone into town to sell tires, which was untrue. The only tires they had were on their car. Troy Owens, Thompson's son, has said: "I don't believe Dorothea Lange was lying, I just think she had one story mixed up with another. Or she was borrowing to fill in what she didn't have (Dunn)."

Dunn relates the following conversation between two of Thompson's children:

"In the catalog accompanying a recent Lange exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, exhibit curator Sandra Phillips argued that Florence Thompson's 'life [was] most likely saved by Lange's photo.' Phillips' assertion brought out groans of agony from Thompson's children. 'We were already long gone from Nipomo by the time any food was sent there,' said [son Troy] Owens. 'That photo may well have saved some peoples' lives, but I can tell you for certain, it didn't save ours.' 'Our life was hard long after that photograph was taken,' added [sister Katherine] McIntosh emphatically. 'That photo never gave mother or us kids any relief.'

Although the government sent food immediately to Nipomo, the family was already well on their way to Watsonville. The photograph would always be a sore point for the family, as they said that Lange promised not to publish the photographs. (Some sources believe this, others insist it must have been a misunderstanding). They were also bitter because they thought Lange made money off of them, and they thought they should have received something. (Because Lange took the photograph for the FSA, she made no money from it directly, although it certainly did bolster her career). The children did not like to think that their mother could be distilled down to that one image. Daughter Katherine says: "She loved music and she loved to dance. When I look at that photo of mother, it saddens me. That's not how I like to remember her." She also states that those times, though the toughest, were also the most fun.

In 1983, Florence Owens Thompson was sick with cancer. Neither she nor her family could afford all the surgery, so her children issued a plea, run in the San Jose Mercury News, for financial aid. More than $35,000 came, along with many letters explaining how much Thompson's picture meant to people, and how she symbolized for them strength and pride in getting through the tough times with dignity. Though Thompson soon died, the experience helped her children come to terms with a photograph that had haunted them and their family for almost 50 years.

The choices Lange made in terms of shooting the scene are very telling in light of our discussion about documentary photography. Most strikingly, the woman's teenaged daughter is purposefully excluded from the photograph. She appears in the first two photographs of the series, but Lange thought that including her would cause the viewer to speculate about how old the mother was when she began having children (Curtis p. 55). At the time, the ideal family contained no more than three children; this woman's family of seven could have detracted from the matter at hand, and maybe caused people to feel less sympathetic towards her (Curtis p. 52).

In the third shot, all you see is the mother nursing her youngest child. Migrant Mother is often referred to as Migrant Madonna, and there are religious undertones and elements of symbolism present in the photograph that could be incorporated into discussion (Curtis p. 55). Lange thought that her subject looked too anxious and uncomfortable with the camera, as Lange seemed to have triggered in her what she called "that self-protective thing" (Curtis p. 57). So, despite being uncomfortable with how unpredictable children were to photograph, to calm the mother she added one of the children back into the frame for the fourth shot. She had the child rest her chin on her mother's shoulder, which, though somewhat unnatural, served the purpose of anchoring the child still. She was also asked to remove her hat, which would have obscured her facial features. This resulted in a good photograph, but Lange "thought she could do better (Curtis p. 58). The fifth shot was the same, but from a different angle, which illuminates an empty pie tin, heavily symbolic of the hunger the family was facing. It also highlighted a warm and loving relationship between mother and child, as the child is leaning lovingly on the mother's shoulder, which is comforting to the child. For the sixth and final shot, Lange brought another child in, but she had both children face away from the camera, so that her shot would not be jeopardized by their unpredictability, and they would serve as a loving frame for the mother. Lange asked the mother to bring her right hand up to her face, and that resulted in exactly what Lange wanted and knew was there (Curtis p. 65). It softened her anxiety about the camera into a mother's concern for the welfare of her family. The mother was worried about letting her sleeping child slip, so in the original sixth shot you could see her thumb grasped around the pole for support. In her excitement Lange did not see it. She eventually altered the original photonegative because she "did not want a small detail to mar the accomplishment (of overcoming her subject's defensiveness) (Curtis p. 67)."

Classroom Implementation Opportunities

The website Dorothea Lange: Photographer of the People has many Lange photographs in its Virtual Exhibit, some with additional comments from Lange or other appropriate sources. View 4 of the section entitled "Politics of the New Deal" shows two photographs of ex-tenant farmers who can't qualify for unemployment relief funds because they are transients by necessity, and the key requirement for such aid is residence (see the comments listed for each photograph) [http://www.dorothea-lange.org/Newdeal-gallary/view_Fourn.htm]. Students can explore the website and gather information about the migrant workers (or any of the other subjects photographed). Vocabulary can be identified, defined, and discussed.

The teacher can read aloud pages 1-5 of Elizabeth Partridge's foreword for her book Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange, and then students can free-write about what they heard. Then they can visit the Ganzel website and listen to the audio excerpt of his interview with Florence Owens Thompson, comparing and contrasting the two stories and developing opinions. The Dunn article could also be used for this.

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Culminating Project

For a culminating project, I would like students to practice the process of documentation. Although we have studied documentary photography in this lesson, students should be able to apply our findings to their preferred field of expression. Because I teach at an arts magnet school, it may be more feasible for students to make these connections on their own and with the support of their arts teachers than it would be in other environments. If that is the case, then you may have students stick to photography.

The project may be presented in any number of ways, using any selection of material. I will demonstrate the project in the context of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s. There are two wonderful children's books that will provide another facet of documentary style for students. They are Sienna's Scrapbook by Toni Trent Parker and This is the Dream by Diane Shore. Sienna's Scrapbook documents major events in the Civil Rights Movement through the "scrapbook" of a young girl whose family decides to visit important black historical sites on the car ride from home in Connecticut to a family reunion in North Carolina. It incorporates diary entries, photographs, doodles, ticket stubs, and a strong, realistic voice. This is the Dream is a poem combined with paintings that illustrate the Civil Rights Movement. These two books will help to give students different ideas for how to go about their projects, and I hope it will open up doors of possibility for them. Students can brainstorm qualities they see in each book, and they can determine how each could be considered documentary and/or fiction. Students can write examples of how each story could be written as traditional fiction, experimenting with different writing styles to explore meaning and to establish qualities of fiction and non-fiction writing.

Students should be asked to respond to journal questions throughout the course of this unit, either in class, for homework, or a combination of the two. The questions should lead students to consider what is important to them, what they think is noteworthy about or characteristic of our world today, and of their individual or collective young adult worlds in particular. They should broach the subject of target audience, reasons for targeting a particular audience, and ways to reach that audience (or things that might alienate a particular audience).

With the final documentary piece, students will include a paragraph summary and a persuasive letter to a notable member of the target audience on why this work is important and what it portrays.

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Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan I -- Analyzing Photographs

Linda Harris of the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust has written a lesson plan on analyzing four Lange photographs, including White Angel Breadline and Migrant Mother.20 It includes questions to ask about each photograph, as well as basic questioning on three different levels that easily correlate to the CMT Language Arts Strands explored in this unit. Her lesson plan and questions are great resources for this exercise.

Duration: One 50-minute class period.

Objectives: Students will apply to a photograph the skills of forming a general understanding, developing interpretation, making reader/text connections, and examining content and structure.

Materials: LCD projection viewer, Lange photographs

Do Now! Assignment: Look at the slide projected on the screen. For five minutes, write down EVERYTHING that comes to your mind: What you see, what you think, the impressions the photograph gives you, the things it reminds you of, the facts it seems to recall.

Initiation: Have students Think-Pair-Share their observations and reflections for 3 minutes each.

Activity: Compile a class list of these reflections on chart paper. List them all as we will address issues of accuracy and personal evocation as we go. Leave space to the left of each entry, as after learning some information about the photo, we will make some decisions about each entry and mark it accordingly for use later. Introduce the photograph, using the information on Harris' link to the photograph. If the entry listed from students' writing was factually accurate, mark it with a star, factually inaccurate, mark it with an x, an intentionally-evoked response, mark it with a checkmark, an unintentionally-evoked response, mark it with a circle, or needs further research, mark it with a question mark.

Next, question students about the photograph, urging them to say when something we discuss has answered a question from our opening activity. Harris' Level I questions will help students to form a general understanding of the photography. (Examples: Describe the colors, lines, shapes, texture, and space you see in the image. What do you notice first in this picture? Where is your eye led? What are the people wearing? How are they posed? Are you looking up or down at the people in the image?) Her Level II questions lead students to develop an interpretation. (Examples: In your opinion: What are the people in the photo looking at? What are they thinking? Where was the photo taken? What were they doing?) Her Level III questions encourage students to examine content and structure and make reader/text connections. (Examples: Based on what you know about the 1930s: Who are the people in the photographs? What message do you think the photographer was trying to convey? Using visual elements in the photograph, what do you think is the situation of the people depicted? What would you title the photograph, and why?)

Repeat with as many photographs as time allows. Don't forget to revisit the chart of questions and observations made at the beginning of class. Encourage discussion and exploration of theme, meaning, and artistic vision. As a Ticket-to-Leave, ask students to write down 3 important things they learned today. For homework, students can write either a short story or non-fiction companion piece to the photograph of their choice.

Lesson Plan 2 -- Documentary and Fact

Duration: Two 50-minute class periods

Objective: Students will determine a collective definition of accuracy, truth, and reality. Students will view several photographs, form a general understanding of what is presented, develop an interpretation of what meaning may be evoked from them, and choose a photograph to either crop or add background to that will change the determined meaning.

Materials: Index cards, felt-tip pens, LCD projector, a computer, a selection of color photocopies of Lange's photographs, Lange books, paper, markers, rulers, art supplies

Do Now! Assignment: Choose one of the following words to define according to your own personal definition (please be complete): Accuracy, Truth, Reality. Write the word you chose on one side of an index card, and your definition on the other side. Please write darkly and clearly, and do not write your name on the card. Please hand your card forward when you are done. [Three words were given so that students may choose between concrete and abstract concepts, based on their comfort and ability.]

Initiation: After collecting cards and dividing them based on word defined, the teacher will decide how best to split them up; Did students equally choose each word, or are there many more Truth than Accuracy cards? Depending on how many students are in your class and the distribution of definitions, set the cards out in a number of groups. Have students count off by that number, to form groups of students. Place an extra index card at each station, for additional thoughts from groups. Each group will have 1-3 minutes to read the definitions at a station and make any brief comments, verbally and then in writing. Depending on the amount of time you have you can have groups travel more times; I would have them hit at least two stations. Volunteers will be called on for aspects of the definitions so that we can come up with classroom definitions, comparing and contrasting all three.

Activity: Once we have established our classroom definitions, students will be shown Land of the Free (1938) through the use of an LCD projector and the Internet. Hard copies of the photograph from books should also be available. Don't show the title at first. Create a running list of facts or truths that the photograph seems to reveal. Encourage students to note everything seen first, and only after all the "facts" are gathered, to make some interpretations of the images. Provide the title to see if it reflects what was discussed or not. Then show the photo from which it has been cropped, Plantation Overseer and His Field Hands, Mississippi Delta (1936). Again, don't give the title right away. Ask students for any immediate emotions or understandings. Ask where those emotions or understandings came from, what was included in the second image that was not in the first to elicit such feelings. Now share the title to see if it supports the discussion. Ideally, students will come away with some understanding that the first image conveys a sense of a hard-working man achieving the American Dream, while the second image reflects the subordinate nature of the field workers to the plantation overseer, as well as Southern racial concerns of the time. This is meant to show students the effects of cropping photographs, and how the reality conveyed can be altered by selection of what does or does not remain in the frame. Tell students that the original photograph (as shown in Curtis' book Mind's Eye, Mind's Truth, page 14) contains her husband Paul's hand. This was because Lange would have him talk to her subjects while she lined up her shots, which relaxed them. She altered the negative so that that edge was not included, not only because it didn't look right, but also because she didn't want to draw attention to this strategy of hers. So the second picture looked at was also partially cropped as well, though for a much different reason.

Next, provide students with a selection of Dorothea Lange's photographs. Each student will "shop around" for a photograph to analyze. They will choose a photograph, write a list of what appears in the frame, write a paragraph explaining their interpretation of the photograph's meaning based on that list, and will either crop the picture (using rulers and markers or paper and scissors to create a frame) or add background to the picture (by mounting it on paper and artistically creating the "rest" of the picture) in a way that changes the determined meaning. Students will complete a Comparison Matrix for the before and after pictures, and from that will write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two pieces visually and ideologically.

This activity could also be done with One Nation Indivisible, as shown on the Dorothea Lange: Photographer of the People website's Virtual Exhibit [http://www.dorothea-lange.org/gallary-camps/template_expanded%20gallary_pledge.htm]. This photograph shows a young Japanese-American girl reciting the Pledge of Allegiance a few weeks before the evacuation and internment in 1942 that was prompted by the attack on Pearl Harbor. The cropped photograph is a close-up of one serious and nervous-looking girl; the original show the whole class, with several students smiling.

Lesson Plan 3 -- Practicing Photojournalism

Duration: One 50-minute class period, plus homework

Objective: Students will process a reading passage, determine the main points to summarize, design a photograph and create a caption to best represent the summary.

Materials: Computer lab, colored index cards for pairing, hat and three pieces of paper with one job title on each paper (in reserve)

Do Now! Activity: Look under your seat and find the colored index card there; find the two other people with that color card, as they will be your group-mates.

Initiation: Choose roles. Each group will have 1 Artist/Photographer, 1 Writer/Journalist, and 1 Editor (although everyone should participate in all roles, as that is how these teams work!) Have groups who cannot resolve job choices choose jobs from a hat.

Activity: Each group will be assigned to 1 of 7 categories of the PBS: American Photography website (Art, Photography and War, Digital Truth, Presidential Image-Making, Persuasion, Social Change, Cultural Identity). Students will read the section and list the most important parts. From that list students will write 2 --3 sentences explaining each item. They will create a list of questions they have about the reading. Students will then think of the perfect picture to represent the information -- one photograph that could be taken that would serve as an accurate summary or representative image for the piece. They will sketch out what would be in the photograph. They will include a caption, with a paragraph explaining why the caption was selected. Students will present their work to the class and discuss.

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Annotated Resource List

Abbey, Susannah. The My Hero Project: Dorothea Lange. http://myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=d_lange. Comprehensive website on Lange, with several worthwhile links.

Agee, James. Let us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, & Shorter Fiction. Library of America, New York. 2005. This book is often referred to in discussions of documentary photography and the Dust Bowl migration to California.

A level Media Studies. Documentary - A Definition for the Digital Age. http://www.mediaknowall.com/Documentary/definitions.html. Clear, concise background information on modes and issues of documentary.

America's Story from America's Library. http://www.americasstory.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi/aa/writers/lange. Visually-enticing, user-friendly website on Lange and her photography.

Avi. Nothing But the Truth: A documentary novel. Orchard Books, New York. 1991. This novel is written for young adults in documentary style; it could be used in Language Arts classes to reinforce the concepts taught in this unit, it can be excerpted for class study and discussion, or it can be read by the whole class or interested individuals during the unit, to inform the final documentary project.

Bernstein, David M. "What Does a Person Deserve? The Answer Found in a Great Photograph." http://www.mindspring.com/~davidmbernstein/Dorothea_Lange.html. This is an article advocating aesthetic realism; it includes a discussion of White Angel Breadline, as well as an alternate shot that conveys a much different message.

Brainy Quote. Http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dorothea_lange.html. This website has several quotes by Dorothea Lange.

Coles, Robert. Doing Documentary Work. The New York Public Library and Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford. 1997. This is a useful resource on issues inherent to documentary work.

Coles, Robert; Heyman, Therese; Lange, Dorothea. Dorothea Lange: Photographs of a Lifetime. Aperture Monograph, New York. 1996. Comprehensive biography and collection of Lange's work.

Curtis, James. Mind's Eye, Mind's Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered. Temple University Press, Philadelphia. 1989. This is an invaluable resource for understanding the issues of documentary photography as indicated by the work of pioneers in the field.

Dooley, Joan; for the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust. Lesson Plan: "Picturing a Story: Photo-Essay about a Community." http://www.bell.k12.ca.us/dooleyjoan/TEACHER/Lesson%20Plans/Melrose%20Photo%20Essay/01PlanPhotoEssayGetty.htm. This website has a lesson plan on social documentary, including instructions for how to create your own photo-essay.

Dorothea Lange: Photographer of the People. http://www.dorothea-lange.org/text.home.htm. This is a comprehensive website on Lange and her photography, with a virtual exhibit that explains details behind the photographs.

Dunn, Geoffrey. "Photographic License," in New Times Magazine -- San Luis Obispo. http://www.newtimes-slo.com/archives/cov_stories_2002/cov_01172002.html. This is an enlightening article on Florence Owens Thompson, the woman photographed for Lange's famous Migrant Mother series.

Ganzel, Bill. "American Photography: An Interview with the Migrant Mother." http://net.unl.edu/artsFeat/ap_migrantmother.html. This interview is an excerpt from Ganzel's 1984 book Dust Bowl Descent. It includes an audio excerpt of the interview, so that students can hear Florence Thompson speaking.

Harris, Linda; for the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust. Lesson Plan. "One-Pager: Analysis of Dorothea Lange's Photographs." http://www.getty.edu/education/for_teachers/curricula/dorothea_lange/downloads/lange_lesson06.rtf. This website has a lesson plan on analyzing 4 Lange photographs, including White Angel Breadline and Migrant Mother. It is referenced in this unit's Lesson Plan 1.

Huffman, Nicole. New Frontiers in American Documentary Film. For the American Studies Program at the University of Virginai, Spring 2001. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA01/Huffman/Frontier/frontier.html. Comprehensive site on documentary as a genre, and film specifically, with clips from several films.

KidsHealth.Org. http://www.kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=nemours&lic=60&cat_id=20028&article_set=22806&ps=104. This is clear and comprehensive information on polio.

Lewis, David Rich. Native Americans in Utah. Utah History Encyclopedia. http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/n/NATIVEAMERICANS.html. This site has information about Native American tribal land displacement that will inform the lesson on Florence Owens Thompson.

Library of Congress. American Memory. American from the Great Depression to World War II (Black and White Photographs from the FSA-OWI 1935-1945). http://rs6.loc.gov/ammem/fsahtml/fahome.html. This site has pertinent information.

Library of Congress. American Memory. Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Workers Collection 1940-1941. http://rs6.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tshome.html. This site can offer supplementary information to the discussion of the California Dust Bowl and the plight of the migrant worker discussed in Migrant Mother.

Marzano, Robert J., Pickering, Debra J., and Pollock, Jane E. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Prentice Hall, 2004. This book is a great resource for research-based instructional strategies; in particular the comparison matrix presented in this book is used in the unit.

Museum of Modern Art. Dorothea Lange. Doubleday & Co. New York. 1966. This thin volume is rich with Lange's photography, with an insightful introduction to her technique and style, by George P. Elliot.

Nelson, Cary, ed. Modern American Poetry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Photo-Essay on the Great Depression. http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/depression/photoessay.htm. This could be used to show students the idea of a photo-essay while exploring the Great Depression.

Oakland Museum of California. Art Department. Dorothea Lange Collection. http://www.museumca.org/global/art/collections_dorothea_lange.html. Very thorough site for Lange's photographs as well as narratives about each phase of her career.

Ohrn, Karin Becker. Dorothea Lange and the Documentary Tradition. Louisiana State University Press, Louisiana. 1980. Useful resource on Lange and the documentary.

Parker, Toni Trent. Sienna's Scrapbook. Chronicle Books, California. 2005. This children's book documents major events in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s through the "scrapbook" of a young girl whose family decides to visit important black historical sites on the car ride from home in Connecticut to a family reunion in North Carolina. It is used in this unit to introduce the culminating project and to provide a different look at documentary work.

Partridge, Elizabeth. Restless Spirit: The Life and Works of Dorothea Lange. Viking Press, 1998. This book is an invaluable resource for information of Lange, and was heavily referred to for biographical information about her.

PBS: American Experience, Surviving the Dust Bowl. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dustbowl/index.html. This website is meant to complement a film of the same name. It has film transcripts, audio interviews, and background information on the Dust Bowl.

PBS: American Photography, A Century of Images. http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography. This website is meant to complement the 3-video series of the same name. It has a section on photography's role in social change, an Image Lab in which you can go on a virtual photo shoot of the Migrant Mother series and begin to contemplate Lange's photography methods, and an Image Lab in which you can study the effect cropping has on a photograph's meaning. It also has film transcripts.

PBS: The First Measured Century, Stock Market Crash. http://www.pbs.org/fmc/timeline/estockmktcrash.htm. This web page has a detailed explanation of how and why the stock market crash of 1929 occurred.

Perchick, Max. "Dorothea Lange; 'the greatest documentary photographer in the United States.'" PSA Journal. 6/1/1995. From HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/library/docFree.asp?DOCID=1G1:17181090. This article offers details of Lange's life.

Shore, Dinah. This is the Dream. HarperCollins, New York. 2005. This children's book is a poem combined with paintings illustrating the Civil Rights Movement. It is used in this unit to introduce the culminating project and to provide a different look at documentary.

Stott, William. Documentary Expression and Thirties America. Oxford University Press, New York. 1973. This is a standard resource in its content area, and also has a small bit about Lange and Migrant Mother.

Time For Kids. http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/magazines/printout/0,12479,101055,00.html. This is an article on vaccines to supplement the polio discussion.

University of Virginia. American Studies Department. Out of One, Many: Regionalism in FSA Photography. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug99/brady/intro.html. This site is useful for its information on the FSA, with an informative section on "Documentary Photography as a Medium."

Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965. Penguin Books, New York. 1987. A comprehensive resource on the Civil Rights Movement, to inform the introduction to the culminating project.

Venezia, Mike. Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Dorothea Lange. Children's Press, 2000. This children's book about Lange is a good resource for struggling or reluctant readers.

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1 All biographical information about Lange was compiled and synthesized from the following sources: Patridge, Perchick, and Dorothea Lange: Photographer of the People.

2 See resources from Time for Kids and KidsHealth.Org for supplemental information.

3 Partidge, page 8.

4 Partridge, page 8.

5 Partridge, page 13.

6 See Marzano for examples of a Comparison Matrix.

7 See the following 2 websites: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat2.txt; http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/2006/b/pages/social_changes.html.

8 Information from this section found on the Oakland Museum of California's website.

9 Museum of Modern Art, introductory essay by George P. Elliot, page 6. Francis Bacon was a late 16th century/early 17th century English philosopher who advocated the Baconian method of isolating the cause of a phenomenon. It was a precursor to the scientific method. In his original quote, he says without superstition, not without substitution.

10 From the My Hero website.

11 Museum of Modern Art, introductory essay by George P. Elliot, page 7.

12 Museum of Modern Art, introductory essay by George P. Elliot, page 6.

13 Brainy Quote. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dorothea_lange.html.

14 All information in this section from two PBS websites: American Experience, Surviving the Dust Bowl and The First Measured Century, Stock Market Crash.

15 This information was compiled from Wikipedia and the Library of Congress website for FSA-OWI photographs.

16 All information from this section from the PBS website American Experience, Surviving the Dust Bowl and the Library of Congress Website Voice from the Dust Bowl.

17 Information for this section comes from Partridge, Curtis, and Dunn.

18 See Lewis for more information.

19 All the following information about Thompson is from the Dunn article.

20 Harris, Linda, for the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust.

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Appendix I - Guide to Creating CMT Questions and Using Scoring Rubrics

1) Choose something to comprehend! In other words, pick a photograph, article, story, film, advertisement, authentic document, etc. that you want students to read or view and understand. This will be referred to as the text.

2) Decide on your CMT strand goal. Do you want students to show that they can:

A. UNDERSTAND the text?
B. INTERPRET the text?
C. CONNECT TO the text?
D. MAKE JUDGMENTS about the text? (Like how, why, and for whom the text was created.)

3) Create an open-ended question that matches your goal. Here is an example of an A1 question stem:

What is the section of the article called "________" mainly about? Use information from the article to support your answer.

For more sample questions and question stems, visit the following website: http://www.state.ct.us/sde/

Click on: Student Testing
Then: CMT
Then: CMT Resources and Publications
Then: Fourth Generation -- Language Arts Handbook
Then: Part II. Section III. Sample Questions Reported by Strand/Objective (Pages 12-20)

Scoring rubrics correlate to the 4 CMT skill strands. Use the rubric that corresponds to your CMT goal. For rubrics, visit the same website as listed above, instead of going to Part II, Section II, go to Part II, Section VI (pages 23-26).

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Appendix II -- Graphic Organizer for Early Career Classroom Activity

(image available in print form)

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