Monday, June 17, 2013

Picturing America--A Great US History (Visual History) Resource

Picturing America is a website resource for a visual program by the same name.  In 2007, the NEH produced a series of large classroom visuals that are durable and easily hung on classroom walls.  In fact, my classroom is mainly decorated with Picturing America visuals.  Most of the visuals are paintings, but there are all sorts of works of art, tools, clothing, and architecture.  The website works best with the actual visuals, but is so well done that with just with the resources off the website, it's really helpful.  Each visual has a set of background resource links as well as a set of the artist or creator's inspirations and biography.
My classes create a quick review project, where each student chooses a visual and has to explain the creator's background and inspiration and how they played a role in the creation of the visual.  Then, they have to explain the significance of the visual and why it was significant.  It's a great way to bring visual learning into US history.
Picturing America was also created in collaboration with Edsitement, which is a huge source of social studies resources, but is so huge that it will require its own blog entry.  Take a look if you want and we'll come back to it soon, Edsitement.

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