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Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Student Activity Sheet for Photographs

SECTION 1: History Today

1. Describe the people and events in the photograph you brought in.

2. Of what larger story in your life is this photograph a part?

3. What could someone learn about your life from this picture? What mistaken impressions might he or she form?

4. What other information would someone need to understand the full significance of this photograph?

SECTION 2: Brainstorming

1. List everything you notice about the photograph your teacher gave you.

2. Now look again, and be sure to include all people, objects, and activities.

3. Was this a candid or a posed photograph? How can you tell?

4. Are there aspects of this picture you cannot identify or understand?

5. What do you think was happening just before this picture was taken? Just after?

6. What did this photograph teach you about women, Jews, and America in the time period when it was taken?

SECTION 3: Now that you know…

1. What do you think the reaction was to this photograph at the time it was taken?

2. Why do you think this photograph was preserved when most are not?

3. Does this photograph reveal any biases, either on the part of the photographer or of those pictured?

4. What biases of yours affected your initial impression of the picture?

5. How did this photograph change or add to your knowledge of this time period and/or topic?

SECTION 4: Follow-up Activities

1. Find another photograph in the Jewish Women’s Archive collection on the same topic and compare.

2. Make a photo history or collage of an important event in your life or that of someone you know.

Document Study Sheets

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, c. 1895

Kitchen Class for Immigrant Women, 1911

Pogrom, Russia, 1931

Dionne Quintuplet dolls, 1936

Anna Sokolow’s dance, Kaddish, 1945

Women protesting nuclear weapons testing, 1961

Photographs of work on behalf of Soviet Jews, c. 1970s


How to Cite This Page
Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Photographs - Student Activity Sheet for Photographs." <>.