Subscriber Spotlight — K-12: "I Challenge My Students To Be History Detectives"
Jon Carl, a U.S. History teacher at FJ Reitz High School in Evansville, Indiana, starts his unit on The Great Depression by asking his students to do a form of "cold case" investigation. He shows students two iconic photographs from the 1930s:
|Migrant Mother, 1936||The Dust Bowl|
"I challenge my students to find out as much as they can about these photographs — who the people were in these images, and their stories," says Carl.
"After my students research the pictures, we then go to NBC Learn. In 1972 and 1979, NBC News found the subjects of these two photographs for two separate stories."
In "Interview with Florence Thompson, the Mona Lisa of the Dust Bowl" (Air Date: 10/30/1979), NBC News Correspondent Bob Dotson finds the subject of the famous "Migrant Mother" photograph in a trailer park in Modesto, California. In her 70s at the time, Florence Thompson recalls chopping cotton for 40 cents an acre, and eventually raising a family of 10 children.
In "The Dust Bowl" (Air Date: 01/24/1982), Farm Security Administration photographer Arthur Rothstein tells the story behind his 1936 image of farmer Arthur Coble and his sons Milton and Darrell, heading for shelter in a stinging dust storm. More than 40 years later, Rothstein returns to the same location, and makes another photograph, this one of Darrell Coble and his own sons in their wheat field.
"Watching these stories on NBC Learn, my students heard from the people themselves," says Carl. "This archival material gives them the rest of the story".
Please watch below the short video Jon Carl made about using NBC Learn in his classroom.