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September 2004

Picturing Modern America
A visual-literacy approach to history topics.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12

Picturing America is a project of the Center for Children and Technology at the Education Development Center and offers students interactive exercises built around primary sources from the American Memory collection. The exercises will help students better understand the life in America from 1880-1920.
This well designed site is user friendly and attractive. The exercises are divided into three groups; Image Detective, Investigations, and Exhibit Builder. Each group is graphically represented on the main page of the site. Internal pages have a top navigation bar for moving between groups and back to the homepage.

History teachers and students will find this to be a rich resource for developing thinking skills using primary documents from the American Memory Collection. Image Detectives offers students the opportunity to examine documents the way historians do by observing details, drawing conclusions, and posing questions for further research. Investigations include immigration, women's suffrage, growing cities, industrialization, progressive reform and more. The Investigations explore selected themes like women's changing roles, prairie settlement, child labor, and the representation of Indians and include interactive exercises such as making a lantern slide show. In the Exhibit Builder students use images from the collections and text they write themselves to create a gallery or a slide show. Included are teacher pages for each of the exercises that offer suggestions for use.


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