Welcome to the Picturing America~ A Moment in History Project!

Task: What do I have to do?

After an introduction to how to analyze an image, you will work in teams of three to create a digital scrapbook (see example below) based on one of the Picturing America prints.

Everyone: Works as a team to analyze the artwork.

Historical Expert: Your job is to research the historical context of the art print. What is the historical setting of the art? Revolutionary War? Colonial times? Civil War? Civil rights? Industrialism?

Artist Expert: Your job is to research the artist. Who is the person who painted, sculpted, photographed, etc? What was the artist trying to accomplish? What art medium was used? What was the artist's point of view? What was he/she trying to portray about American history?

Literary Expert: Your job is to read an historical fiction book that somehow connects to the artwork. Your book will reveal a human experience related to the historical period or theme (leadership, freedom, equality, democracy, etc.) that the artwork depicts.

Each week the three of you will meet to compare notes and find connections between the artwork, the artist, the historical context, and the historical fiction book.


  1. Research or read as assigned.
  2. Fill out your Connections organizer.
  3. Fill out the combined Connections organizer.
  4. Fill out the Drawing Conclusions organizer.
  5. Write your narrative, based on all of the above, as assigned below.
  6. Find images (1-3) to go along with your narrative and save them to the appropriate folder.
  7. Gather together your "works cited".
  8. Create your Mixbook.
  9. Embed Mixbook on the appropriate page in this wiki.
  10. Reflect in our blog when assigned to.

Final Project: The Digital Scrapbook
(see handouts for Mixbook instructions)
The scrapbook, which will be created using a Web 2.0 tool called Mixbook, will contain the following elements:
  1. An image of the artwork you researched, an image of the artist, an image of the book that was read, and an image of the three of you layered on to the artwork, your first names, and a "Works Cited".
  2. The ARTIST EXPERT will write a narrative. This narrative will be written as if you had met the artist; it will be written in the first person, and in it you will write what you have learned about the artist. You should include information about the artist's POINT OF VIEW - in other words, talk about what the artist was trying to say through the artwork. Does it differ from the actual historical event? Is there a message?
  3. The HISTORICAL EXPERT will also need to write a brief summary of the historical context of the artwork. Put the painting/photograph into some kind of historical context. What was going on in American history at the time?
  4. The LITERARY EXPERT will write a letter or postcard as if you were the main character of the book you read. You will describe what you "saw" and felt and thought observing that moment in history. You have a choice of three ways of doing this, depending on the artwork; some pictures lend themselves to doing it one way or the other:
  • You were there…watching what was happening.
  • You are actually participating in the event.
  • You may also propose a different way of writing this; speak to Mrs. Kliegman.
  • Write in first person. Incorporate knowledge from the historical context and visual clues you analyzed.


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