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Of Mice and Men, Migration, and Photography

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Keywords: Of Mice and Men, Photography, and the American Dream
Subject(s): Art, Photography, Technology, Writing, History, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Andrew Jackson Elem School, Philadelphia, PA
Planned By: Lauren Pears
Original Author: Lauren Pears, Philadelphia
The cross-curricular project integrates art, English, writing, and technology. As students read the novel, Of Mice and Men, they will learn about the experiences of migrant workers in the 1930s. The inquiry-based approach will help students explore the concept of the American Dream and how it has changed over time. In conjunction with the inquiry-based approach, students will use critical lenses to analyze power structures and its effects on the American Dream.

As students learn about the migrant workers of the 1930s, they will be exploring their own neighborhood. The South Philadelphia area boasts a very diverse community. As such, students will use digital cameras to interview and document people going to and from work, their perception of the American Dream, and their own dreams.

When students have documented the migrant workers of the area, they will analyze their work and present it to renowned artist, Zoe Strauss. She will visit the classroom and present her work to the students to help them compose photo essays that tell a story. Ultimately, the goal is to have the students' work in an exhibition in Philadelphia.

The culmination of the project will be an analysis of the American Dream. Students will write research-based essays that will bring to light new knowledge on the modern day concept of the Dream. Students will present their work to their classmates through their photography and PowerPoint presentations.
Materials: Digital Cameras, Camera/Video Accessories, Authoring and Publishing
Other Items: 25 Cannon Powershot Cameras, $99 each, total of $2475.00
2 HP InkJet Printers, $100 each, total of $200.00
10 HP Photography Paper, $20 each, total of $200.00
5 HP InkJet Ink Combination, $25 each, total of $125.00
5 USB Drives, $15 each, total of $75.00