and photography can provide lots of opportunities for developing
expository, narrative, and persuasive
writing skills, as well as preparing for the CMT, CAPT, and A.P.
U.S. History exams. Try using one of the following writing prompts
in your classroom to develop observation and analysis skills
or consider the significance of photography in shaping American
- Choose one photograph
from Connecticut History Online that you find interesting
and examine it. Notice the setting (indoors
vs. outdoors, weather, city vs. country, objects in the
picture,) people (activities that they are doing, dress, hair,
gestures, age,) and other clues that might tell you something
about the picture. Now use words to describe the image
so that a person could visualize it without ever seeing the
an image of children at work on Connecticut History Online
and use it as evidence to argue one side of the
debate: why children should be allowed to work, or why children should
not be allowed to work.
- Choose one photograph from Connecticut
History Online that you find interesting and examine it.
Write the story
of what has
happened leading up to the moment at which the picture was
- If you only had one photograph of yourself
taken during your lifetime, what would you do with it and why?
are a daguerreotypist (one of the earliest photographers)
in Connecticut in 1840. Convince a prospective client why he/she
should have a portrait taken.
- Which is more important for understanding
history, photographic evidence or written evidence? Why?
- How do you think that photography has changed
how we remember (or memorialize) people or events?
- You are a photographer
in 1938. Explain to a government official why it is important
that you travel across the country taking
pictures of the effects of the Depression on the American
people. Is it more or less important than other government-funded
at this time and why?
- You are a Civil War photographer, and
in the course of your work you have moved a dead soldier
from one location to another to
make for a more dramatic picture. Write a letter to the
editor of your newspaper arguing why, even though the image
they should run it.