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Museum Home Education Search Lesson Plans All Curricula About Life: The Photographs of Dorothea Lange Curriculum Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans


Developed in conjunction with an exhibition at the Getty Center from October 15, 2002 through February 9, 2003, these lessons allow students to visualize history and explore their own creativity through art and writing activities.

Lessons 1–10 of 12

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Images of Children in Dorothea Lange's Photographs
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: Students study how Dorothea Lange tells stories related to children. They practice telling their own written and visual stories in response to Lange's images.

Indonesia / Lange

Read All About It!
Events and People of the 1930s and 1940s That Shaped California and the Nation

Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8)
Subjects: History—Social Science
Lesson Overview: Make connections between Dorothea Lange's images and the history of the Dust Bowl, the Depression, World War II, and large-scale agriculture in the United States. Students learn about the role of photography in news stories and write their own news story.

Migrant Mother / Lange

Writing About Photographs: Responding to the Art of Dorothea Lange
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students keep journals in which they respond in writing to Dorothea Lange's photographs.

White Angel Breadline / Lange

Dorothea Lange and the Relocation of Japanese Americans
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: History—Social Science
Lesson Overview: Students learn about the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II. Through an analysis of Dorothea Lange's photographs, the "Pledge of Allegiance," and a U.S. government flyer from 1942, students discuss the complexities of U.S. history and politics.

Pledge of Allegiance / Lange

Going to the Promised Land (Dust Bowl Migration)
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: History—Social Science
Lesson Overview: Students examine primary resources, photographs by Dorothea Lange, and a U.S. map to understand the migrant experience during the Great Depression.

Dust Bowl Refugees / Lange

One-Pager: Analysis of Dorothea Lange's Photographs
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: History—Social Science
Lesson Overview: Students analyze one of Dorothea Lange's photographs and make connections to its historical context by creating a one-page written and visual response.

Stoop Labor / Lange

Exhibiting Common Threads
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: Students analyze Dorothea Lange's photographs and identify key themes in her work. They then create a thematic exhibition pairing Lange's work with work by artists who explore the same themes in other media.

Highway West / Lange

Picturing a Story: Photo Essay about a Community, Event, or Issue
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: Students consider the function of social-documentary photography. They research Dorothea Lange's documentary projects, and create their own photo essay about a subject of interest to them.

Migrant Mother / Lange

Portraits That Capture Character
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: Explore the definition of a portrait. Students discuss two of Dorothea Lange's portraits and create their own portraits of their classmates.

It Was Never / Lange

Image as Metaphor
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students define metaphor and discuss its use in writing and visually. Students develop a personal metaphor and use it to write about their own experience.

Indonesia / Lange

Lessons 1–10 of 12

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